Enteropeptidase, a type II transmembrane serine protease

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2009 Jun 1;1:242-9.


Enteropeptidase, a type II transmembrane serine protease, is localized to the brush border of the duodenal and jejunal mucosa. It is synthesized as a zymogen (proenteropeptidase) that requires activation by another protease, either trypsin or possibly duodenase. Active enteropeptidase then converts the pancreatic precursor, trypsinogen, to trypsin by cleavage of the specific trypsinogen activation peptide, Asp-Asp-Asp-Asp-Lys- Ile that is highly conserved in vertebrates. Trypsin, in turn, activates other digestive zymogens such as chymotrypsinogen, proelastase, procarboxypeptidase and prolipase in the lumen of the gut. The important biological function of enteropeptidase is highlighted by the manifestation of severe diarrhea, failure to thrive, hypoproteinemia and edema as a result of congenital deficiency of enteropeptidase activity in the gut. Conversely, duodenopancreatic reflux of proteolytically active enteropeptidase may cause acute and chronic pancreatitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enteropeptidase / biosynthesis*
  • Enteropeptidase / deficiency
  • Enteropeptidase / genetics*
  • Enteropeptidase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Microvilli / enzymology*
  • Pancreatitis / enzymology
  • Pancreatitis / etiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / genetics
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Enteropeptidase