Impact of Typical Surfactants on the Collagenolytic and Elastinolytic Activities of Proteases

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Yanhong Li
Fenfxiang Luo
Biyu Peng
Bingbin Xu


Most proteases exhibit broad-spectrum activities to all of the protein components of skins, thus, the indiscriminate application of proteases will bring out undue and non-selective loss of skin structural proteins, especially collagen and elastin, and lead to loose and damaged grain. Finding the effective ways to control proteases’ activities against collagen and elastin in leather processes is very important. In this work, the influence of typical surfactants on the collagenolytic and elastinolytic activities of frequently used proteases was investigated, and the mechanism was also discussed. The results indicated that the nonionic surfactants had slight effects and anionic surfactants exhibited quite different behaviors on the collagenolytic and elastinolytic activities of selected proteases. Both collagenolytic and elastinolytic activities of trypsin preparations were obviously inhibited by all selected anionic surfactants, especially SDS and SDBS. For the bacteria proteases, their elastinolytic activities were significantly activated and their collagenolytic activities were inhibited to a variable extent by anionic surfactants. Tanners may effectively control the selective action of proteases to collagen and elastin to achieve different requirements through correctly utilizing surfactants.

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