Pepsinogen, an enzyme or not?

Depree, Jonathan A depreej at
Fri Apr 17 10:59:22 EST 1998

In article <3536A3F2.1231 at> Miiko Sokka <meeco at> writes:
>From: Miiko Sokka <meeco at>
>Subject: Pepsinogen, an enzyme or not?
>Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 17:36:02 -0700

>Can you call a pepsinogen an enzyme although it is nothing but a 
>non-functioning preliminary stage of a pepsin?

I would call it a zymogen. A molecule which gives rise to an enzyme but has no 
enzymic activity. That's how your stomach cells can secrete digestive enzymes 
without digesting themselves.

>What is an alfa-amylase?

An enzyme which breaks down alpha amylose, ie a polymer of glucose sugars 
joined by alpha 1-4 glycosidic links (starch). A glucose polymer of beta 1-4 
glycosidic links is cellulose and would be broken down by cellulase.

Hope this helps.

Jonathan Depree,
Lincoln University, P.O. Box 84, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Socrates was a famous Greek Teacher who went around giving
people advice. They killed him.   (school history howler)

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