Dr. Weeks’ Comment; Nature provides the cure but we can understandably be reluctant to take the remedy.
Recombinant protein production of earthworm lumbrokinase for potential antithrombotic application.
Earthworms have been used as a traditional medicine in China, Japan, and other Far East countries for thousands of years. Oral administration of dry earthworm powder is considered as a potent and effective supplement for supporting healthy blood circulation. Lumbrokinases are a group of enzymes that were isolated and purified from different species of earthworms. These enzymes are recognized as fibrinolytic agents that can be used to treat various conditions associated with thrombosis. Many lumbrokinase (LK) genes have been cloned and characterized. Advances in genetic technology have provided the ability to produce recombinant LK and have made it feasible to purify a single lumbrokinase enzyme for potential antithrombotic application. In this review, we focus on expression systems that can be used for lumbrokinase production. In particular, the advantages of using a transgenic plant system to produce edible lumbrokinase are described.