What Is the Role of the Enzyme Maltase?

The enzyme maltase (glucoamylase) is part of the final step of the digestion of proteins and dietary carbohydrates that takes place in the small intestine. Maltase, along with the other enzymes responsible for the final stage of digestion, is tethered to the plasma membrane of the enterocyte microvilli as integral membrane proteins.

The enterocyte microvilli, once thought of as passive cytoskeletal scaffolds, are viewed as membranes containing four catalytically active enzymes: maltase, sucrase-isomaltase, lactase and peptidases. These enzymes are referred to as the brush-border enzymes because they are found in the numerous microvilli extending from the plasma membrane of the enterocyte.