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Trypsin - chymotrypsin



Trypsin and chymotrypsin, like most proleotytic enzymes, are synthesized as inactive zymogen precursors (trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen) to prevent unwanted destruction of cellular proteins, and to regulate when and where enzyme activity occurs.  The inactive zymogens are secreted into the duodenum, where they travel the small and large intestines prior to excretion.  Zymogens also enter the bloodstream, where they can be detected in serum prior to excretion in urine.  Zymogens are converted to the mature, active enzyme by proteolysis to split off a pro-peptide, either in a subcellular compartment or in an extracellular space where they are required for digestion.Trypsin and chymotrypsin are structurally very similar, although they recognise different substrates.  Trypsin acts on lysine and arginine residues, while chymotrypsin acts on large hydrophobic residues such as tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine, both with extraordinary catalytic efficiency.  Both enzymes have a catalytic triad of serine, histidine and aspartate within the S1 binding pocket, although the hydrophobic nature of this pocket varies between the two, as do other structural interactions beyond the S1 pocket.


This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

  • BY MOUTH:To reduce tissue damage in burn patients: a 6:1 ratio (trypsin:chymotrypsin), in a combined amount of 200,000 units USP four times daily for ten days.
  • BY INJECTION:Healthcare providers inject a solution of chymotrypsin into the eyes as part of cataract surgery.

Side Effect

Chymotrypsin is safe when used in the eye by a healthcare professional. Chymotrypsin can cause side effects when used in the eye, including an increase in pressure in the eye and other eye conditions such as uveitis, paralysis of the iris, and keratitis.It also seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth to reduce redness and swelling following surgery or injury, and when applied directly to the skin for burns.Not enough is known about the safety of chymotrypsin for its other uses.Rarely, chymotrypsin might cause an allergic reaction when taken by mouth. Symptoms include itching, shortness of breath, swelling of the lips or throat, shock, loss of consciousness, and death.