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Why are pancreatic enzymes secreted in zymogen form?

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by futuredoctor10, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. futuredoctor10

    Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Q122 on p. 126 of EK Biology

    Which of the following is the best explanation for why pancreatic enzymes are secreted in zymogen form?
    A. A delay in digestion is required in order for bile to increase the surface area chyme
    C. Zymogens will not digest bile in the pancreatic duct
    D. Pancreatic cells are not as easily replaced as intestinal epithelium

    I picked C.
    Correct answer is D because "only D is both true and reveals a benefit for enzymes to be inactive while in the pancreas." "C is true but not an adequate explanation".

    I don't get it, can someone explain why its D. So what if pancreatic cells are NOT as easily replaced as intestinal epithelium?!
     
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  3. 229141

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    No the answer is D. Think about it...if you had zymogen activation occuring IN the pancreas it would eat away the pancreas. Thats all there is to it..and they sort of word it kind of weird but thats all it means.

    Look up pancreatitus (spelling?)...condition where zymogen activation occurs in the pancreas and eats away at it.
     
  4. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor
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    i agree w/ above - if we didn't have the zymogen form, we'd digest our own pancreatic cells...
     
  5. WashMe

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    smart people beat me to it. pancreatic zymogens are cleaved in the small intestine. otherwise our pancreas would cry.
     
  6. futuredoctor10

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    cool thanks everyone!
     
  7. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor
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    Also, C is only talking about lipids... so no/little relation to zymogens. And for A, enzymes are not directly affected by surface area (they would be worked into the digested material... so volume would make more sense).
     
  8. RiPSTONE

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    Great explanations! I also chose C on this.
     

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