Research Article Open Access

Papain, a Plant Enzyme of Biological Importance: A Review

Florence Mamboya1 and Ezekiel Amri1
  • 1 , Tanzania


Papain is a plant proteolytic enzyme for the cysteine proteinase family cysteine protease enzyme in which enormous progress has been made to understand its functions. Papain is found naturally in papaya (Carica papaya L.) manufactured from the latex of raw papaya fruits. The enzyme is able to break down organic molecules made of amino acids, known as polypeptides and thus plays a crucial role in diverse biological processes in physiological and pathological states, drug designs, industrial uses such as meat tenderizers and pharmaceutical preparations. The unique structure of papain gives it the functionality that helps elucidate how proteolytic enzymes work and also makes it valuable for a variety of purposes. In the present review, its biological importance, properties and structural features that are important to an understanding of their biological function are presented. Its potential for production and market opportunities are also discussed.

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Volume 8 No. 2, 2012, 99-104


Submitted On: 13 May 2012 Published On: 22 June 2012

How to Cite: Mamboya, F. & Amri, E. (2012). Papain, a Plant Enzyme of Biological Importance: A Review. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 8(2), 99-104.

  • 338 Citations



  • Proteolytic enzyme
  • cysteine protease
  • papain
  • structure
  • hydrophobic