An Introduction To Enzymes

Enzymes are small protein molecules those are involved in the catalytic activities of biological reactions.

Basically enzymes are build up of protein molecules but some times inorganic compounds also found bind to them. This complex structure further speed up reactions of biology.

As we know each enzyme is build up of protein, they are coded by some portion of DNA. These enzyme proteins are build up at the time of requirement only. On the bases of their composition it can be said all enzymes are proteins but all proteins are not enzyme.

Characteristics Of Enzyme

Certain substance in small amounts have the capacity of speeding up chemical reaction without themselves being altered after the reaction. These substances accelerate the velocity of reaction without necessarily initiating it. Substance those act in such way are called catalysts or catalytic agents.

Enzymes are catalysts. however, unlike other inorganic compounds those can change the rate of reaction, enzymes are organic compounds those are produced by living organism.

Although all enzymes are initially produced in the cell, some are secreted through the cell wall and function in the cell environment. Thus we have two type of enzymes on the basis of site of action: intracellular enzymes or endoenzymes (functioning in the cell), and extracellular enzymes or exoenzymes (functioning out side of the cell).

The general characteristics of enzymes are same whether the enzymes are produced by the cells of microbes, by people, or by other forms of life. In fact, cells of organisms those are very different, may contain same type of enzymes and having same function.

In any one cell there are a thousand or more different enzymes. The enzymes present in the microbial cell are determined by the environmental conditions and by the cell’s genetic constitution.

This means that any one movement, the enzyme content of a microbe is a reflection of the manner in which that cell copes with environment.

The general characteristics of enzymes are same whether the enzyme was produced by the cells of microbes, by people, or by other forms of life. In fact, cells of organisms that are very different may contain some enzymes those are identical or at least have identical functions.

Chemical And Physical Properties Of Enzymes

Enzymes are proteins or protein combined with other chemical groups. Enzymes therefore possess the properties characteristics of proteins. They are denatured by heat, and precipitated by ethanol or high concentration of inorganic salts like ammonium sulphate.

As we know enzymes are proteins, so essentially they are build by the translation process from DNA, some protein synthesis RNA also might be there which carry information code for its amino acids. A part of it, we have found that some enzymes carry some other particles specially metals within them. These metal may be present as core of the enzyme and take part in chemical reaction and stay unaltered throughout chemical reaction.

These inorganic particles present in enzymes are named as cofactors. They might be any of metal ions or inorganic phosphate may also be there as cofactor. Some times these cofactors play a big oral towards activation of enzyme in biological environment.

Gaurav Singh

Editor in Chief Medical Microbiology & Recombinant DNA Technology (RDT) Labs - RDT Labs Magazine

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