Research Highlight

Goat milk peptides show blood pressure lowering, microbe killing properties

doi:10.1038/nindia.2021.85 Published online 15 June 2021

© S. Priyadarshini

Proteins undergo chemical modifications after the process of synthesis. Such post-translational modifications (PTMs) often enhance their functions.

Researchers from the ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Goats (ICAR-CIRG) in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, have identified PTM sites and bioactive peptides in goat milk1  that show antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and blood-pressure-lowering effects.

These peptides could potentially be used to develop therapies for various chronic disorders and microbial infection in humans, says Pramod Rout from the ICAR-CIRG.

In goats, modified proteins in the gastrointestinal tracts make their way to milk through blood circulation. However, little is known about how PTMs modify the goat milk proteins.

To shed light on this, the scientists analysed PTMs of casein and non-casein milk proteins in genetically and geographically diverse goat breeds. Using sophisticated analytical techniques, they identified PTMs in 201 peptides of 120 goat milk proteins.  

Rout and his colleague Mahima Verma zeroed in on 287 sites of the proteins that are modified through phosphorylation – one of the common and most important PTMs which add phosphate groups to amino acid residues of proteins.  

They identified modifications on the proteins’ amino acids such as serine, threonine, tyrosine and aspartic acid. Serine showed the highest affinity for phosphate groups.

The researchers say that protein phosphorylation is vital for the regulation of metabolism, proliferation, inflammation, programmed cell death, signaling and other important physiological processes.


References

1. Rout, P. K. et al. Post translational modifications of milk proteins in geographically diverse goat breeds. Sci. Rep.11, 5619 (2021)