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Metabolism of proteins
Intracellular proteolysis
Extracellular proteolysis
Regulation of proteolysis
Gene Ontology

As proteolysis (from the Greek lysis , "Resolution") refers to the enzymatic hydrolysis of proteins by peptidases , so the breakdown of proteins. From Autoproteolysis is when a peptidase degrades itself. Proteolysis can be inhibited by protease inhibitors . A protein hydrolyzate is a product of proteolysis.


Proteolysis can be classified according to its localization:

  1. Intracellular proteolysis
  2. Extracellular proteolysis

In addition, the peptidases can also be subdivided according to their degradation mechanism. Exopeptidases break down proteins from the N- or C-terminus of the amino acid sequence , while endopeptidases break down a protein at a specific recognition sequence . Endopeptidases are further subdivided according to their active site .

Proteolysis has a decisive influence on the biological half-life of proteins. The peptides released during proteolysis can be reused for protein biosynthesis or used to generate energy in the course of biochemical degradation after being broken down into individual amino acids .

The organism also uses proteolysis to release peptides and proteins from preproteins such as B. to activate zymogens such as ADH and Neurophysin or for post-translational modification .