Discuss the main steps in the digestion of proteins as the food passes through different parts of the alimentary canal.
Proteins of ingested food are broken down into amino acids by proteases (peptidases). Proteases are secreted in inactive forms called proenzymes which are converted into active forms at site of their action. Protein digestion starts in the stomach and is completed in the small intestine. Saliva contains no protease.
Digestion of proteins in stomach : Chief cells of gastric gland secrete pepsinogen and prorennin, which act as follows:
Digestion of proteins in small intestine: In small intestine, peptones and proteoses are acted upon by enzymes of pancreatic juice and intestinal juice.
Pancreatic juice contains 3 inactive proteases; trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen and pro-carboxypeptidase. Their action is as follows:
Dipeptides + Amino acids Intestinal juice contains two digestive pro-teases; aminopeptidases and dipeptidases and a nondigestive enterokinase (enteropep- tidase).
Amino acids are the end products of protein digestion which are absorbed by intestinal cells.
- Digestive System - Alimentary Canal