Identification of lactoperoxidase in mature human milk

Kouichirou Shin, Mamoru Tomita, Bo Lönnerdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Myeloperoxidase (MPO) derived from milk leukocytes and lactoperoxidase (LPO) secreted from the mammary gland have been identified previously in human colostrum. These peroxidases are known to play host defensive roles through antimicrobial activity. The goals of this study were to measure the peroxidase activity in mature human milk and to characterize the enzyme responsible for the activity. As determined using 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine as substrate, whey prepared from human milk samples obtained 1 and 5 months postpartum showed levels of peroxidase activity equivalent to 0.13 ± 0.18 and 0.24 ± 0.21 μg/mL bovine LPO (bLPO; n = 13), respectively. Whey from early milk was fractionated into two peaks of peroxidase activity by cation-exchange chromatography; the peroxidase in the first peak was sensitive to dapsone, which is an inhibitor of LPO, whereas the second peroxidase was not. Whey from mature milk showed only the first peak. Purified bLPO and MPO showed chromatographic behaviors that were similar to the first and second peaks, respectively. The dapsone-sensitive peroxidase from mature milk was further purified (952-fold from whey) by hydrophobic interaction chromatography. This preparation showed two bands with molecular masses of 80 and 90 kDa by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting using an antibody against bLPO. After deglycosylation, two distinct proteins with lower molecular weights were observed. Amino acid sequencing indicated that both of these proteins are LPO. These results provide evidence that LPO is present in mature human milk and that it is responsible for most of the peroxidase activity in mature milk. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Amino acid sequence
  • Human milk
  • Lactoperoxidase
  • Myeloperoxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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