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Volume 71, Issue 12


TK1656, an L-asparaginase from Thermococcus kodakarensis, a novel candidate for therapeutic applications

Shahid Mahmood Chohan
  • School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
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/ Muhammad Atif Nisar
  • Department of Microbiology, Government College University, Allama Iqbal Road, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan
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/ Naeem Rashid
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
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/ Ghazaleh Gharib
  • School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
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/ Qamar Bashir
  • School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
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/ Masood Ahmed Siddiqui
Published Online: 2017-01-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2016-0168


L-Asparaginase is a potential therapeutic agent owing to its anti-tumor activity. We have previously characterized a thermostable L-asparaginase (TK1656F from Thermococcus kodakaraensis that exhibits highest ever reported enzymatic activity, no glutaminase activity and high stability. In this study we have compared the cytotoxicity and anti-proliferative activity of TK1656 and a commercially available L-asparaginase from Escherichia coli on cancerous cells. Despite of the thermophilic origin, the amount of TK1656 required to inhibit equivalent growth of HeLa cells at 37°C was three times less than that of the L-asparaginase from E. coli. It is worth mentioning that TK1656 showed much reduced cytotoxic effect on non-cancerous cells as compared to the E. coli counterpart. Furthermore, TK1656 was found to potentiate induction of apoptosis of cancerous cells. Overall, our findings suggest that TK1656 harbors a remarkable potential for the cancer chemotherapeutics.

Key words: thermostable L-asparaginase; Thermococcus kodakaraensis; therapeutic agent; cytotoxicity; anti-proliferative


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About the article


* The first two authors contributed equally to this work and, in their opinion, should be considered as joint first author.

Received: 2016-11-08

Accepted: 2016-12-12

Published Online: 2017-01-11

Published in Print: 2016-12-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 71, Issue 12, Pages 1315–1319, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2016-0168.

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