Hydrolysis improves the inhibition efficacy of bovine lactoferrin against infection by SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells may involve the spike protein cleavage by cathepsin L (CTSL). Certain food proteins such as lactoferrin (Lf) inhibit CTSL. The current study investigated the impact of hydrolysis (0–180 min) by proteinase K on electrophoretic pattern, secondary structure, cathepsin inhibitory and SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus infectivity inhibitory of bovine Lf. Gel electrophoresis indicated that hydrolysis cut Lf molecules to half lobes (∼40 kDa) and produced peptides ≤18 kDa. Approximation of the secondary structural features through analysis of the second-derivative amide I band collected by infra-red spectroscopy suggested a correlative–causative relationship between cathepsin inhibition and the content of helix-unordered structures in Lf hydrolysate. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of Lf hydrolysed for 90 min (H90) against CTSL was about 100 times smaller than that of the Lf hydrolysed for 0 min (H0). H90 had also double activity against SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-types infectivity compared with H0.