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Question 4

State the role of pancreatic juice in digestion of proteins.


Pancreatic juice contains a variety of inactive enzymes such as trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen, and carboxypeptidases. These enzymes play an important role in the digestion of proteins.

Physiology of protein-digestion by pancreatic enzymes:

The enzyme enterokinase is secreted by the intestinal mucosa. It activates trypsinogen into trypsin.

Trypsinogen enterokinaseTrypsin + Inactive peptide

Trypsin then activates the other enzymes of pancreatic juice such as chymotrypsinogen and carboxypeptidase.

Chymotrypsinogen is a milk-coagulating enzyme that converts proteins into peptides.


(Inactive)                                 (Active)

Proteins ChymotrypsinPeptides

Carboxypeptidase acts on the carboxyl end of the peptide chain and helps release the last amino acids. Hence, it helps in the digestion of proteins.

PeptidesCarboxypeptidaseSmaller peptide chain + Amino acids

Thus, in short, we can say that the partially-hydrolysed proteins present in the chyme are acted upon by various proteolytic enzymes of the pancreatic juice for their complete digestion.

Proteins, peptonesTrypsin/CarboxypeptidaseDipeptides and proteases

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