Alkyl Isocyanates as Active Site-Specific Inhibitors of Chymotrypsin and Elastase

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Science  05 Nov 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4009, pp. 608-610
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4009.608


Alkyl isocyanates react specifically with the two serine proteinases, chymotrypsin and elastase, to yield inactive enzyme derivatives containing 1 male of reagent per mole of enzyme. Octyl isocyanate inactivates chymotrypsin only, while butyl isocyanate inactivates both enzymes but shows greater efficiency toward elastase than toward chymotrypsin. These reagents may thus represent unique chemical "yardsticks" for the measurement of the relative dimensions of the active sites of the two very similar enzymes.