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All You Need To Know About Enzymes

Enzyme is a Greek word composed of En which means In and Zyme which means Yeast. The word “Enzyme” was introduced by F.W Kuhne in 1876. Enzymes are biological catalysts which speed up chemical reactions (metabolism).

They are usually protein in nature, are specific to their activity, have an active site and do not change their shape after any reaction.

Below are some properties of Enzymes.

Properties of Enzymes

Protein in nature: Enzymes are made up of protein.

Biological catalysts: Enzyme work to speed up a chemical reaction and that is why they are called a biological catalyst.

Specific shape: Enzymes have a specific shape which they maintain even after a reaction.

Reuse: Enzymes can be reused again and again because no reaction can mortalize them.

The specificity of reaction: Every enzyme is specific for a specific reaction. For Example, A. Maltase enzyme is used to break down Maltase into Glucose+Glucose. While Lactase enzyme is used to break down Lactase into Glucose+Lactose.

Sensitivity: Enzymes are much more sensitive to the change of temperature and PH because they work better at a moderate temp and PH, lower and higher values of both may cause disturbance or can stop enzyme activity.

Used in small amounts: Enzymes are used in a small amount because they are powerful and can easily provide basic necessities for a reaction.

Active Site/Centre: Enzymes have a specific active site where the entire reaction takes place. Active sites need a substrate to attach itself with it. The substrate can be protein or lipid etc.

Reduction of Activation Energy: Enzymes are powerful and they reduce the activation energy of a reaction. Because of enzymes, a reaction can lose less energy, and without enzymes, a reaction losses greater amount of energy. For example, to catalase H2O2 into water and oxygen with catalase enzyme, 1kg/mol energy is required and without catalase enzyme, 86kg/mole energy is required.

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Study of Enzyme (Vivo and Vitro): Enzymes can’t be studied in Vivo (inside the body/cell) because the rate of the reaction is too fast and the reaction is completed in the blink of an eye. But it can be observed/studied in Vitro (inside a laboratory) where everything is in control, for example, P.H and Temp.

Distribution of Enzymes

Cytoplasmic Enzymes: Those enzymes which are found dissolved in the fluid part of the cell are called Cytoplasm.

Mitochondrial Enzymes: These enzymes are found mainly in Mitochondria the powerhouse of the cell where major process respiration takes place.

Plastid Enzyme: Enzymes which are found in the process of Photosynthesis are called Plastid Enzymes. Plastid is a part of Chloroplast.

Ribosomal Enzymes: Enzymes which are found in the process of Protein Synthesis are called Ribosomal Enzymes.

Holo Enzymes: Enzymes which are composed of Protein part and non-Protein is called Holo Enzymes.

Apo Enzymes: The function is to remove the non-Protein part from an enzyme or just the Protein part is called Apo Enzymes.

Facts about Enzymes

  1. The study of Enzymes is called Enzymology.
  2. Fastest enzyme: in the human body is Carbonic Anhydrase enzyme present in RBC’s or Erythrocytes.
  3. Smallest Enzyme: Tautomerase With a monomer size of just 62 amino acid residues, the 4-Oxalocrotonate.
  4. 4. Largest Enzyme: Catalase (in the human body)
  5. Smallest Enzyme: Peroxidase (in human boy)
  6. Hallucinogenic plants: act as enzymes which stimulate the imagination.
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