Proteolytic Enzyme

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

proteolytic enzyme

[¦prōd·ē·ə¦lid·ik ′en‚zīm]
Any enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of protein.

Proteolytic Enzyme


(also protease), an enzyme of the hydrolase class that is present in all living organisms. Proteolytic enzymes catalyze the hydrolysis of peptide bonds in both cellular and food proteins.

Proteolytic enzymes include peptidases (exopeptidases) and proteinases (endopeptidases). Peptidases primarily hydrolyze external peptide bonds in proteins and peptides, while proteinases hydrolyze the internal bonds. Proteolytic enzymes are subdivided according to the structural characteristics of their active center into metalloenzymes, each containing a metal atom, usually Zn, in its active center, and serine, thiolic (cys-teic), and acidic proteinases. Most of the known peptidases are metalloenzymes. Proteinases are also classed according to substrate specificity, that is, the ability to hydrolyze the bonds between specific amino-acid residues.

The sequence of amino acids in the molecules of a series of proteolytic enzymes has been determined. X-ray diffraction analysis has made it possible to determine the complete three-dimensional structure of several key proteinases, including pepsin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin. Proteolytic enzymes of the pancreas are synthesized in the form of inactive precursors—proenzymes—and therefore do not destroy the proteins of their parent tissue.

Preparations from proteolytic enzymes are used for many purposes; they are used in laboratories to determine the structure of proteins and peptides, in the food-processing industry when making cheese or tenderizing meat, in light industry to remove fur from hides and when bating leather, and in medicine to resorb thrombi and remove cataracts.


Neurath, H. “Fermenty, perevarivaiushchie belki.” In Molekuly ikletki. Moscow, 1966. (Translated from English.)
Mosolov, V. V. Proteoliticheskie fermenty. Moscow, 1971.


References in periodicals archive ?
Yet studies showed that nattokinase can be measured in the blood after oral ingestion of a single capsule and that most proteolytic enzymes are absorbed.
Proteolytic enzymes demonstrate anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antithrombotic, and antiedematous effects in vitro and in vivo.
The enzymes that cleave peptide bonds of protein are referred to as proteolytic enzymes or proteases.
As Gonzalez and Isaacs point out, the proper development path is determined by the presence of functioning proteolytic enzymes.
The therapeutic efficiency and safety of the proteolytic enzyme bromelaine obtained from pineapple (Bromelain-POS, Ursapharm GmbH, Saarbrucken, Germany) was evaluated in children under the age of 11 years diagnosed with acute sinusitis.
Port Charlotte, FL, has launched SerraPlus, an enzyme supplement that contains high levels of Serratiopeptidase, a proteolytic enzyme studied for its positive health effects.
Oligomerix has discovered that tau becomes a proteolytic enzyme upon forming an oligomer structure that causes it and other proteins to fragment.
JETREA (ocriplasmin) Intravitreal Injection is a proteolytic enzyme indicated for the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA).
He identified the proteolytic enzyme trypsin as the enzyme most responsible for controlling the trophoblast.
41) If you use the medication warfarin (Coumadin[R]), consult your doctor before using papain (a proteolytic enzyme derived from papaya).
Speaking of other new findings, a study published in Plastic Reconstructive Surgery last July showed that a proteolytic enzyme demonstrated significant results in wound-healing time in 77% of normal, healthy subjects.
At Houghton, he created a new polymer-based technology for oral administration of peptides to protect them from proteolytic enzyme degradation and aid in oral absorption.