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[proh-tee-eys, -eyz] /ˈproʊ tiˌeɪs, -ˌeɪz/
noun, Biochemistry.
any of a group of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolytic degradation of proteins or polypeptides to smaller amino acid polymers.
Origin of protease
1900-05; prote(in) + -ase Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for protease
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  • The best-known example of this type of enzymes is the protease of yeast; but similar ones may be found in germinating seeds.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
British Dictionary definitions for protease


any enzyme involved in proteolysis
Word Origin
C20: from protein + -ase
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for protease

1903, from protein + -ase. Related: Proteolysis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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protease in Medicine

protease pro·te·ase (prō'tē-ās', -āz')
Any of various enzymes, including the proteinases and peptidases, that catalyze the hydrolytic breakdown of proteins.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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protease in Science
Any of various enzymes that bring about the breakdown of proteins into peptides or amino acids by hydrolysis. Pepsin is an example of a protease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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