It’s A Miracle!!!

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THE MIRACLES THAT ARE ENZYMES…

Enzymes run and operate the entire body and the sad truth is, without them, we wouldn’t be alive.

NeNe-Leakes-Finger-Snap-Gif

Enzymes catalyze bodily processes, thus enabling the synthesis of other biomolecules by numerous organism during glycolysis, the Krebs cycle etc.  (Meyer, 2014)  (without them biochemical reactions would be too slow to sustain life) . They are are specialized protein molecules which just happen to be biologically active, due to their quaternary structure and any minor change in their amino acid sequence can change the way the enzyme acts.

As they are usually unaltered by chemical reactions, they’re basically re-used, so large amounts aren’t necessarily needed to do their jobs (Novozymes.com. 2014).

Quick question…  If all enzymes are proteins,are all proteins enzymes?

NOPE.
Biologically active proteins that function as catalysts in biochemical reactions are enzymes. However, since you’ve been reading our blog religiously  that should’ve been obvious… right? 😀

DID YOU KNOW? Enzymes don’t attach to living cells, however, they do digest proteins in dead cells.

The horror

Enzymes can’t pass through of a living cell’s membrane, but upon its death, the membrane loses its carefully controlled selective permeability and the enzyme can act upon it (Meyer, 2014).

There are hundreds of enzymes in cells alone, that control cell activity and defends us against microbes such as bacteria and viruses.

THE ENEMY OF THE ENZYME!!!

Enzymes are sensitive to heat and changes in the pH in their surroundings. That’s why when food is cooked at high heat or processed for consumption, enzymes which are important for digestion of the food are killed.

A FEW HELPFUL ENZYME FACTS…

  • They lower the activation energy of reactions.
  • Often form reversible complexes substrate.
  • have active sites where substrates are captured and made to undergo reactions where the substrates are either broken apart or combined to form products.
  • Enzymes are highly specific- each enzyme can only bind to one type of substrate.
  • …are not consumed during the reaction hence the reason they are effective in small amounts.
  • …are produced (coded for) by genes.
  • Genetic disorders are caused by faulty enzymes.
  • They are controlled by feedback mechanisms.
  • They work best at optimum temperature and pH.
  • Allosteric enzymes (change shape after binding to an effector).
  • Enzymes can be ‘tricked’ by inhibitors in the body.

ENZYME

FUNCTION

hydrolytic enzymes

break down substances into simpler compounds,

oxidizing enzymes (or oxidases)

assist with oxidizing reactions

reducing enzymes

Speed up reduction where oxygen is removed.

Lipase

Breaks down fats

Protease

Breaks down proteins

Cellulase

Breaks down fiber

Amylase

Breaks down starch

Lactase

Breaks down dairy foods

Sucrase

Breaks down sugars

Maltase

Breaks down grains

Bromelain

(Anticoagulant) .Breaks down the blood clotting protein fibrin

References:

Ana The Nature Co., Ltd. 2011. http://www.anathenature.com/index.php?lay=show&ac=article&Id=456355 (accessed February 28, 2014).

Meyer, Michael. Zest for Life. January 31, 2014. http://www.anyvitamins.com/enzymes-info.htm (accessed February 28, 2014).

Novozymes.com. 2014. What are enzymes? | Novozymes. [online] Available at: http://www.novozymes.com/en/about-us/our-business/what-are-enzymes/pages/default.aspx [Accessed: 3 Mar 2014].

Contributors: Chris, India, Roi.

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