Enzymes - Protease

Proteases, also known as proteinases or proteolytic enzymes, are a large group of enzymes. Proteases belong to the class of enzymes known as hydrolases, which catalyse the hydrolysis of peptide bond with the participation of a water molecule.

Exoprotease:
These are proteases which can cleave off single amino acids from either end of the protein chain.Eventually under right conditions a protein can be reduced down to a single amino acids.

Endoproteases:
These are proteases which attack peptide bonds on the interior of the protein chain.The hydrolysis products are usually smaller polypeptides and peptides. Therefore most endoproteins will not produce a great deal of free amino acids as end products.

Proteases are involved in digesting long protein chains into short fragments, splitting the peptide bonds that link amino acid residues. Some of them can detach the terminal amino acids from the protein chain (exopeptidases, such as aminopeptidases, carboxypeptidase); the others attack internal peptide bonds of a protein (endopeptidases, such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, pepsin, papain, elastase).
  • Protease is a commercially important enzyme, it has a wide industrial application some of which are
  • The greatest industrial use of protease is for laundry detergents where they help to remove protein based stains (such as blood and egg) from clothing.
  • The second largest use of protease is for cheese making. Enzymes from calf stomach and microbial sources are used to clot milk-one of the first steps in cheese making.
  • Proteases are also used for bating (softening) leather, modifying food ingredients (e.g. soy protein whipping agents) meat tenderizers, and flavor development.
  • Proteases have also been studied for their role in blood clotting and inflammatory diseases.