Soybean properties

The Column

The Column, The Column-06-22-2012, Volume 8, Issue 11
Pages: 8

The protein Bowman-Birk Protease Inhibitor (BBI) is present in soybeans and demonstrates strong cancer chemoprotective properties.

The protein Bowman-Birk Protease Inhibitor (BBI) is present in soybeans and demonstrates strong cancer chemoprotective properties. Unfortunately, extracting BBI from the bean is difficult. However, a team of scientists has conducted an interesting study in which they report that soybean seeds incubated in warm water release large amounts of proteins that can easily be harvested.1

Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis of the proteins resulted in the separation of 93 distinct protein spots, 90 of which were identified by LC–MS–MS. BBI and the basic 7S globulin are the two predominant proteins found in soybeans. The team was able to demonstrate that soybean seed exudate was able to inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cell line MCF-7.

The team concluded that their findings could potentially be used as a simple alternative method for the preparation of BBI concentrate for use as a cancer chemoprotective agent.

1. Hari B. Krishnan et al., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60(12), 3135–3143 (2012).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.