Protein digestion - stomach & small intestine




• Protein digestion occurs in the stomach and small intestine. • The stomach enzyme pepsin initiates the process. • Pancreatic and intestinal brush border enzymes complete the digestive process. • In the stomach, pepsin is created from pepsinogen in the presence of pH-lowering hydrochloric acid (HCI). • Newly produced pepsin molecules then catalyze the production of more pepsin. • Pepsin molecules begin to break down proteins into peptides. • Protein continues to be broken down in the small intestine. • In the duodenum, chyme interacts with pancreatic juice, a mixture of fluid and several enzymes. • Protein-digesting enzymes in pancreatic juice are: • Trypsin • Chymotrypsin • Elastase • Carboxypepuaase • Each enzyme effectively breaks a particular peptide bond to produce smaller peptides or amino acids. • Trypsin, chymotrypsin, and elastase help break down larger peptides into smaller peptides. • Carboxypeptidase breaks the bond between the terminal amino acid and the carboxyl end of the peptide.



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