Serine inhibitors have been described in many plant species and are universal throughout the plant kingdom. Trypsin
inhibitors are the most common type. In the present study, trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitory activity was detected in the seed
flour extracts of four Egyptian varieties of soybean (Glycine max). The soybean variety, Giza 22, was found to have higher trypsin and
chymotrypsin inhibitory potential compared to other tested soybean varieties. For this reason, Giza 22 was selected for further purification
studies which used ammonium sulphate fractionation and DEAE-Sephadex A-25 column. Soybean purified proteins showed
a single band on SDS-PAGE corresponding to a molecular mass of 17.9 kDa. The purified inhibitor was stable at temperatures below
60°C and was active at a wide range of pH, from 2 to 12 pH. The kinetic analysis revealed a non-competitive type of inhibition against
trypsin and chymotrypsin enzymes. The inhibitor constant (Ki) values suggested that the inhibitor has higher affinity toward a trypsin
enzyme than to a chymotrypsin enzyme. Purified inhibitor was found to have deep and negative effects on the mean larval weight,
larval mortality, pupation, and mean pupal weight of Spodoptera littoralis. It may be concluded, that soybean protease inhibitor gene(s)
could be potential targets for those future studies which are concerned with developing insect resistant transgenic plants.