Title: Keratinase
CAS Registry Number: 9025-41-6
Additional Names: M-Zyme
Literature References: A proteolytic enzyme, commercially produced by a strain of Streptomyces fradiae: Nickerson, Noval, US 2988487 (1961 to Rutgers Res. and Educ. Found.). Can convert about 50% of the dry wt of wool into a water-sol form, permitting hair separation from hides. The amount of enzyme needed to dehair hides is not enough to cause much digestion of the hair itself, which is recovered and used in felt making. The enzyme attacks at the base of the hair shaft, which is particularly sensitive to the action of keratinase.
Properties: Soluble in water. Non-dialyzable. Optimum efficiency at pH 8.5-9.5. Becomes inactive by heating to 100° for 5 min. The ability to digest keratin appears to be dependent on the presence of at least trace amounts of metal ions which form chelates.
Use: In the dehairing of hides and skins: Robison, Nickerson, US 2988488 (1961 to Mearl). In depilatory compositions for human use: Mattin, Greenstein, US 2988485 (1961 to Mearl).

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