Protein proteinase inhibitors are widely distributed in plants and obtained from many sources. Although the biological role of protein proteinase inhibitors is not yet clear, it is proposed that they may exert three main functions: to serve as storage proteins, to regulate the activity of endogenous proteinases, and to protect plants against insects and pathogenic microflora (Ryan, 1981). In the present chapter we summarize data on identification and characterization of a group of protease inhibitors from buckwheat seeds. An effort was also made to find out what function these inhibitors perform in the seeds.
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