Amino acids are continously released by the hydrolysis of proteins. This occurs by several different mechanisms. Much intracellular proteolysis occurs within lysosomes, which provide the acidic environment within which enzymes such as cathepsins operate. However, there are also cytosolic proteolytic enzymes that operate at neutral or alkaline pH. These include the enzymes that hydrolyze proteins bound to ubiquitin. There are also extracellular pro-teinases that degrade extracellular proteins such as collagen.
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