The seeds of flowering plants constitute a rich source of proteins. A variety of proteins with different functions have been isolated including ribosome inactivating proteins, lectins, ribonucleases, amylase inhibitors, trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors, antifungal proteins, and antimicrobial proteins. Many of the aforementioned proteins play a physiological role of defense. They may also possess exploitable activities such as antitumor and antiproliferative, immunomodulatory, antifungal, and antiviral enzyme activities.
Asparagus is a popular vegetable in the West as well as in the Orient. Ribosome inactivating proteins designated asparins have been isolated from asparagus. We report herein the isolation of a deoxyribonuclease with antifungal activity from asparagus seeds.