An inactive substance that is converted into an enzyme when activated by another enzyme.
- Still other proteins (of the enzyme class) are synthesized as inactive precursors called zymogens.
- One of the key reactions in the mammalian blood coagulation and hemostatic process is the cleavage of the zymogen prothrombin to thrombin which in turn activates fibrinogen to fibrin, eventually resulting in clot formation.
- How this process occurs is unclear; however, it is believed that something activates the zymogens while they are still in the pancreas.
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