This project was supported in part by the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants CAP project 2011-68002-30029 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, adminstered by the University of California-Davis and by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Undergraduate Education, National SMETE Digital Library Program, Award #0938034, administered by the University of Nebraska. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA or NSF.
However, proteases do not catalyze the hydrolysis of all kinds of proteins. Their action is stereo-selective: Only proteins with a certain tertiary structure will be targeted. The reason is that some kind of orienting force is needed to place the amide group in the proper position for catalysis. The necessary contacts between an enzyme and its substrates (proteins) are created because the enzyme folds in such a way as to form a crevice into which the substrate fits; the crevice also contains the catalytic groups. Therefore, proteins that do not fit into the crevice will not be hydrolyzed. This specificity preserves the integrity of other proteins such as hormones, and therefore the biological system continues to function normally.