© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Natural products from marine origin constitute a very promising and underexplored source of interesting compounds for modern biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries. However, their evaluation is quite challenging and requires specifically designed assays to reliably identify the compounds of interest in a highly heterogeneous and interfering context. In the present study, we describe a general strategy for the confident identification of tight-binding protease inhibitors in the aqueous extracts of 62 Cuban marine invertebrates, using Plasmodium falciparum hemoglobinases Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 as model enzymes. To this end, we first developed a screening strategy that combined enzymatic with interaction-based assays and then validated screening conditions using five reference extracts. Interferences were evaluated and minimized. The results from the massive screening of such extracts, the validation of several hits by a variety of interaction-based assays and the purification and functional characterization of PhPI, a multifunctional and reversible tight-binding inhibitor for Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 from the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla, are presented.
- Combined screening strategy
- Falcipain 2
- Plasmepsin II
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Tight-binding protease inhibitor