Chymosin

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Chymosin or rennin is an enzyme found in rennet. It is produced by cows in the lining of the abomasum (the fourth and final, chamber of the stomach). Chymosin is produced by gastric chief cells in infants to curdle the milk they ingest, allowing a longer residence in the bowels and better absorption. Bovine chymosin is now produced recombinantly in E. coli, Aspergillus niger var awamori, and K. lactis as alternative resource. The gene is found in humans (on chromosome 1), but it is not expressed.

Contents

Enzymatic reaction

Chymosin causes cleavage of a specific linkage — the peptide bond between phenylalanine and methionine in the K-Casein. If this reaction applies to milk, the specific linkage between the hydrophobic (para-casein) and hydrophilic (acidic glycopeptide) group of casein inside milk would be broken, since they are joined by phenylalanine and methionine.[citation needed] The hydrophobic group would unite together and would form a 3D network to trap the aqueous phase of the milk. The resultant product is calcium phosphocaseinate. Due to this reaction, rennin is used to bring about the extensive precipitation and curd formation in cheese making.

Examples

Listed below are the cow Cym gene and corresponding human pseudogene:

References

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