Proteins and Enzymes

ID #1612

Trypsin and elastase are both enzymes that catalyze hydrolysis of peptide bonds. But trypsin only cuts next to lysine and elastase only cuts next to alanine. Why?


The shape of the active site for the two enzymes is different. Hydrolysis of lysine bonds requires water; hydrolysis of alanine bonds does not. Delta G for the two reactions is different. Trypsin is a protein, and elastase is not. One of the reactions is endergonic and the other is exergonic.

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