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subtilisin Any of a group of protein-digesting enzymes (see protease) produced by Bacillus subtilis and related species. Subtilisins have broad specificities and work over a wide range of pH values. Subtilisin Carlsberg is an alkaline protease, derived from Bacillus licheniformis, that is used widely in detergents. Roughly 30–40% of the peptide bonds in casein, a milk protein, are hydrolysed by subtilisin Carlsberg.