Serine proteases are an important group of enzymes that share a common catalytic mechanism. They play a role in digestion: they are made in the pancreas and work in the digestive system. It is important that these enzymes are not active immediately upon synthesis and that their activity is controlled.
Serine proteases are made in the pancreas as inactive precursors known as
. When they are secreted into the digestive system, they are hydrolyzed to a smaller version, and there is an increase in activity. This causes an alteration in the
and allows the enzyme to acquire its proper
. This type of regulation is known as