Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are cytotoxic N-glycosidases identified in plants, fungi, and bacteria. RIPs inhibit protein synthesis by virtue of their enzymatic activity, selec-tively cleaving a specific adenine residue from a highly conserved, surface-exposed, stem-loop (S/R loop) structure in the 28S rRNA of ribosomes. Some RIPs also exhibit a number of other enzymatic activities such as RNase, DNase, phospholipase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD). RIPs are considered to be plant defense-related proteins as they are able to inhibit the multipli-cation and growth of several pathogenic virus, fungi, and bacteria either alone or in conjugation with other defense-related proteins. The mechanism of inhibitory activity of RIPs against fun-gal pathogens seems to be by directly inhibiting fungal growth rather than depurinating host plant ribosomes and causing cell death as previously envisaged. This chapter describes the protocol used to isolate and purify RIPs from plant tissues. Key Words: Antimicrobial activity; depurination; plant defense; ribosome-inactivating protein
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