Protein Hydrolyzing Enzymes Are Commonly Known As – Protein Hydrolyzing (Proteolysis) is the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or amino acids. Proteolysis is one of the most important biological reactions. Proteolytic activity has been attributed to a class of enzymes called proteases. A protease (also called a peptidase or proteinase) is an enzyme that performs proteolysis.
Protein Hydrolyzing Enzymes Are Commonly Known As – Proteases are involved in digesting long protein chains into shorter fragments by splitting the peptide bonds that link amino acid residues. Some detach the terminal amino acids from the protein chain (exopeptidases, such as aminopeptidases, carboxypeptidase A); others attack internal peptide bonds of a protein (endopeptidases, such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, pepsin, papain, elastase).
Proteases are found in animals, plants, bacteria, archaea, and viruses. Proteases are involved in protein processing, regulation of protein function, apoptosis, viral pathogenesis, digestion, photosynthesis, and numerous other vital processes.
Proteases are not merely restricted to digestive purposes and remodeling of extracellular matrix and tissues, but are also key factors for the induction of physiological immune responses. This induction can be direct, through the degradation of pathogens within phagolysosomes, or indirect, through the activation of key pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), such as toll-like receptors (TLRs).
Proteases in particular are synthesized in the inactive form so that they may be safely stored in cells, and ready for release in sufficient quantity when required. This is to ensure that the protease is activated only in the correct location or context, as inappropriate activation of these proteases can be very destructive for an organism. Proteolysis of the zymogen yields an active protein; for example, when trypsinogen is cleaved to form trypsin, a slight rearrangement of the protein structure that completes the active site of the protease occurs, thereby activating the protein.
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