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Reactions of Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives


The Digestive System and Nutrition

Proteases are enzymes that break peptide bonds. One class of proteases are the serine proteases, which you may have studied at some point. Chymotrypsin is an example of a serine protease. Serine is an amino acid in which the side-chain has a hydroxyl group. Why would a group of proteases be named after serine? The reason that a serine residue in the active site is crucial to the functioning of these enzymes. The serine oxygen of the enzyme acts as a nucleophile in forming an acyl enzyme intermediate in the hydrolytic mechanism.

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