Proteinase K (also known as endopeptidase K) is an extracellular endopeptidase isolated from a culture filtrate of the fungus Tritirachium album limber. This unique fungus is able to degrade keratin (hence Proteinase K) and can grow using the by-product as its sole source of carbon and nitrogen. The enzyme is stable over a broad temperature and pH range, with optimum activity at 55-65°C and pH 8.0. It’s also stable in high salt concentrations and active in the presence of strong detergents such as SDS. It has a molecular weight of 28.9 kDa and it shows fairly low specificity for its polypeptide targets.
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