Term: proteinase (or endopeptidase K)
Literally meaning: “that enzyme which separates proteins”
Origin: Anc Greek
+πρωτεΐνη/proteini(=protein) > πρώτος/protos(=first or of prime importance)
+(-άση)/(-asy)(=-ase) enzyme suffix added to the name of the substrate that the enzyme hydrolyzes eg proteinase for protein or lipase for lipids
>διά-/dia-(=prefix denoting “through”, “apart” )
> δυο/dio(two) + στάσις/stasis(=halt) > ίστημι/histimi(=stand).
K from keratin > κέρας/keras(=horn) > (genitive): κέρατος/keratos
Proteinase K was discovered in 1974 , in extracts of the fungus Engyontium album. The name K is derived from first letter of “keratin” because proteinase K is able to digest native protein keratin.
Ebeling W, Hennrich N, Klockow M, Metz H, Orth HD, Lang H (1974) Proteinase K from Tritirachium album Limber”. Eur. J. Biochem. 47
Proteinase K is a protease that catalyzes the breakdown of proteins in sites of serine residues.