(Pancreato peptidase E; EC 188.8.131.52)
Elastase is a unique proteolytic enzyme in mammals because of
its ability to hydrolyze the insoluble protein elastin. In
addition, it also exhibits endopeptidase activity on other
proteins. Elastase is produced in the pancreas and it also
occurs in leukocytes and in the serum. It has been postulated
that elastase activity may play role in the induction of
atherosclerosis and acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis (Bieth, J.,
Spiess, B. and C.G. Wermuth, Biochem. Med., 11, 350, 1974).
Elastase from porcine pancreas has been extensively
studied. It has a molecular weight of 25,900 (Shotton,
D.M. and B.S. Hartley, Biochem J., 131, 643, 1973). Elastase
can be used for degradation of proteins and peptides.