An enzyme is a protein that speeds up or slows down cell chemical reactions. Enzymes perform various functions in cellular metabolisms, such as food digestion in animals and the process of respiration, and also aid in muscle and nerve function. Enzymes are affected by temperature changes; an increase in temperature increases the chemical reaction of an enzyme up to a certain point from there high temperatures denature enzymes (“Enzymes: What are enzymes, pancreas, digestion & liver function,” n.d.). Enzymes are sensitive to pH levels and do not work well in an acidic or too-basic environment. Chemical inhibitors interfere with the working of enzymes by halting any form of a chemical reaction.
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Salivary glands and pancreas produce enzyme amylase. Pancreatic amylase is responsible for breaking down starch into sugars which are eventually acted upon by other enzymes and converted to glucose. An enzyme called pepsin is released in the stomach, which requires an acidic pH to function correctly. It breaks down proteins into peptides and amino acids. Lipase is also found in the stomach; it compels fats and lipids into fatty acids and glycerol. In the mouth, the enzyme maltase is found in the saliva to break down sugar into maltose (Newman, n.d.). Acetylcholinesterase is responsible for breaking down neurotransmitter acetylcholine in nerves and muscles.
In plants, enzyme proteases break down proteolysis, which helps break down Nitrogen compounds and ensure the supply of amino acids to individual cells. Bacteria and plant roots produce phosphatase for assimilation to dissolve phosphates. Enzyme chitinases enhance plants’ defense against fungal species (“Best enzymes for plants | How enzyme helps in plants growth,” 2021). Plants use five biphosphate carboxylase oxygenase to carry out the process of photosynthesis. Dehydrogenase transfers an electron from one molecule to another, while Phosphohexoisomerase aids rearranging atoms within a molecule.
Newman, T. (n.d.). Enzymes: Function, definition, and examples. Medical and health information.