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At which site do the proteases act in the small intestine?

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: The small intestine also is known as the small bowel, it is an organ in the gastrointestinal tract wherein the end food is digested by the absorption of nutrients and minerals from the digested food. It lies between the stomach and large intestine and gets bile juice and pancreatic juice through the pancreatic duct for digestion.

Complete answer: Protease is the proteolytic enzyme, which is also known as peptidase, a proteinase that breaks protein into amino acids; this enzyme is found in an alimentary canal. Mucosal cells of the small intestine secrete protease enzymes. The small intestine gets the protease synthesized in the pancreas through the hepatopancreatic duct into the lumen of the small intestine. The protease is taken part in the last phase of digestion, and digestion is not found free in the lumen but is implanted on the microvilli of the intestine. Hence lumen, microvilli's surface, and mucosal cells of the small intestine are the site of the protease enzyme where it acts.

Additional Information:
Protease enzymes have the ability to break the peptide bond of proteins or peptide chains. Proteases may be acidic, neutral, and alkaline in nature. It obtains from plants, animals, and microorganisms in a different condition such as high salt concentrations. The halophilic proteases have stable activity at high temperatures and ionic strength in presence of organic solvents.

Protease enzymes are widely used in detergents, pharmaceutical companies, bioremediation processes, and food industries for various purposes. It is used as therapeutic in Alzheimer's, cancer, and viral infection.