• What is trypsin?

Trypsin is a digestive enzyme that can be found within the digestive system of vertebrates. It can hydrolyze proteins and it is produced within the pancreas under the shape of an inactive proenzyme trypsinogen. It has the ability to slice peptide chains and it is utilized for several bio-technological processes.

The enzyme is being produced within the pancreas and when it is stirred by cholecystokinin it is secreted into the beginning of the small intestine also known as the duodenum through the pancreatic duct. As soon as it gets to the intestines, the enzyme gets activated and it turns into trypsin. It can also regulate the activity of enzymes, break down arginine residues and lysine. Ordinary people that are healthy and have a proper functioning digestive system generate the enzyme through their bodies; however, those who have difficulties divesting proteins might have to take trypsin supplements.

Named for the first time after Kuhne in 1876, trypsin used to be the enzyme that described proteolytic activity within the pancreas. After comparing pepsin with trypsin, research studies have shown that optimal pH is the main feature that separates the two enzymes. It was in 1931 when Kunitz and Notothrop managed to purify trypsin by crystallizing it, shortly after purifying pepsin in the 30s.

The history of trypsin was enhanced the moment 3 dimensional structures were determined; thus, serine endopeptidase S1 started and the family of trypsin was brought to life. Throughout the 80s and 90s, the role of amino acids residue present in the enzyme was discovered and afterwards, physicians managed to link trypsin with heridarty pancreatitis. These days, trypsin is used in tissue and cell development, as well as in protein identification via peptide sequencing techniques. Current research has linked trypsin to chronic pancreatis and cystic fibrosis.

Functions of trypsin:

  • Tissue dissociation when mixed with enzymes like elastase and collagenase
  • Cell harvest via “trypsinization”
  • Protein studies “in vitro”
  • Mitochondria isolation
  • Cell monolayers from glass and plastic
  • Tryptic mapping
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Cleavage protein fusion
  • Subculturing cells
  • Glycopeptides generation from pure glycoproteins
  • Health benefits


The protease enzyme known as trypsin, is manufactured within the pancreas. It begins as trypsinogen and while it moves to the first part of the small intestine it meets with another enzyme and turns into trypsin. Afterwards, it converts peptides into amino acids, thus permitting protein absorption from foods. Due to its protein degrading properties, trypsin features biotechnological and industrial applications.

  • Harvesting skin cells

The very first scientific use of the enzyme is through mammalian cells “in vitro”. It is utilized to re-suspend or re-organize cells before cell fixation in cultured tissue samples. Also, it can be utilized to make a skin substitute that facilitates adhesion and proper growth of skin grafts.  A research paper that was published in July 2010 named the method “tissue engineering”. Researchers, found that utilizing trypsin as a skin forming help was a great idea to improve skin growth. Even though the research study had preliminary results, trypsin might soon become a remedy to curing serious skin problems.

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