Original name of enzymes is ferments. Enzymes are biomolecules, biocatalysts, complex proteins that drives thousands of metabolic processes in living things. Without enzymes there is no respiration process, digestion processes in animals and no photosynthesis process in plants. Overall enzymes can able to catalyze 4000 biochemical reactions. Enzymes are biocatalysts. Enzymes without being consumed in the process can speed up chemical processes or slow down the chemical processes. After the reaction is complete, the enzyme is released from the chemical process which can start another reaction.
They are present in all living cells, where they perform a vital function by controlling the metabolic processes. Moreover, enzymes take part in the breakdown of food materials into simpler compounds. Enzymes like pepsin, trypsin and peptidases break down proteins into amino acids, lipases split fats into glycerol and fatty acids, and amylases break down starch into simple sugars.
Enzymes are generally extracted from various sources like plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and animal organs. The enzymes of animal and plant origin are produced through the disruption of tissues, organs, leaves and fruits. Then enzymes will be extracted with water or organic solvent. In same way microbial enzymes are attained through the process of fermentation.
Examples for enzymes
Thousands of different enzymes are needed to keep the human body functioning normally, each usually acting on only one kind of substrate, and catalyzing only one kind of reaction. Enzymes are classified according to the type of reaction they catalyze and the type of substrates on which they act.
Most metabolic processes involve a series of many different chemical changes. In digestion, for example, separate chemical reactions take place in the mouth, stomach, and intestine. Certain enzymes break down the protein, carbohydrate, and fat molecules of food into smaller molecules. Other enzymes assist in passing these smaller molecules into the bloodstream.
History & Discovery of enzymes
In 1833 Payen and Persoz isolated enzyme complex from malt
In 1874 Christian Hansen extracted dried calves’ stomachs with saline solution
In 1876 William Kuhne coined the term ‘enzyme’
In 1897 Eduard Buchner studied about zymase action
In 1926 James B. Sumner explained function of urease
In 1930 Northrop and Stanley worked on pepsin enzyme
Structure of enzymes
Enzymes are in general globular proteins and range from just 62 amino acid residues in size and all these amino acids linked together. The amino acids within each kind of enzyme have a characteristic arrangement. The bonds between the different amino acids in the chains are weak and may be broken by such conditions as high temperatures or high levels of acids. When the bonds are broken, the enzymes become nonfunctional and disease sometimes occurs.
Enzyme Commission number/system
For the classification of enzymes one particular method is following by the people i.e., Enzyme Commission System.
The Enzyme Commission number (EC number) is a numerical classification scheme for enzymes, based on the chemical reactions they catalyze.
EC 1 – Oxidoreductases, catalyzes both oxidation reactions and reduction reactions
EC 2 – Transferases, catalyzes transferring of groups
EC 3 – Hydrolases, catalyzes hydrolytic cleavage of different bonds
EC 4 – Lyases, catalyzes cleavage of bonds
EC 5 – Isomerases – catalyzes geometric or structural changes within molecule
EC 6 – Ligases – catalyzing the joining of two molecules
Applications of enzymes
Enzymes for textile industry, enzymes used for textile industry for the purpose of desizing, bio-polishing, denim finishing, bleach clean-up, bio-scouring and de-wooling
Enzymes for leather industry – enzymes used for leather industry for the purpose of bating, un-haring, degreasing and soaking in the beam-house processes
Enzymes for food industry – enzymes used for food industry for the purpose of food baking and brewing of alcohols
Enzymes for detergent industry – enzymes used for detergent industry for the purpose of removing protein stains, fatty stains
Enzymes for biofuel industry
Enzymes for rubber industry
Enzymes for photographic industry