is a protease
, a digestive enzyme
that degrades proteins
in the stomach
; the other important digestive enzymes are trypsin
. It was the first animal enzyme to be discovered, by Theodor Schwann
Pepsin is expressed as a pro-form, pepsinogen with an additional 44 amino acids, which are cleaved off outside the secreting cell, to avoid digestion of cellular proteins.
Pepsin is most active at pH 2-4. It is permanently inactivated above pH 6.
The name Pepsi is derived from pepsin. Pepsin is also used in the preparation of cheese.