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[proh-tee-ol-uh-sis] /ˌproʊ tiˈɒl ə sɪs/
noun, Biochemistry.
the breaking down of proteins into simpler compounds, as in digestion.
Origin of proteolysis
1875-80; proteo- (combining form representing protein) + -lysis
Related forms
[proh-tee-uh-lit-ik] /ˌproʊ ti əˈlɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for proteolytic
Historical Examples
  • This ferment, called by them galactase, on account of its origin in milk, is a proteolytic enzym of the tryptic type.

  • In the early history of physiology there was, quite naturally, little or no thought given to the nature of proteolytic changes.

    On Digestive Proteolysis R. H. Chittenden
  • Antipeptone, on the other hand, is incapable of further change by the proteolytic ferment trypsin.

    On Digestive Proteolysis R. H. Chittenden
  • One of our conceptions regarding pepsin-proteolysis is that acid is necessary for every step in the proteolytic process.

    On Digestive Proteolysis R. H. Chittenden
  • This fact affords additional evidence of the profound changes set in motion by this proteolytic enzyme.

    On Digestive Proteolysis R. H. Chittenden
  • This author, however, associates their activity with proteolytic rather than with carbohydrate metabolism.

    Scurvy Past and Present Alfred Fabian Hess
  • Tryptic: acting like tripsin, the proteolytic ferment of the pancreatic fluid.

  • These ferments may belong to either of the following well-recognised classes: proteolytic, diastatic, invertin, rennet.

British Dictionary definitions for proteolytic


the hydrolysis of proteins into simpler compounds by the action of enzymes: occurs esp during digestion
Derived Forms
proteolytic (ˌprəʊtɪəˈlɪtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from proteo- (from protein) + -lysis
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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proteolytic in Medicine

proteolytic pro·te·o·lyt·ic (prō'tē-ə-lĭt'ĭk)
Relating to, characterized by, or promoting proteolysis.

proteolysis pro·te·ol·y·sis (prō'tē-ŏl'ĭ-sĭs)
The hydrolytic breakdown of proteins into simpler, soluble substances, as occurs in digestion.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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