About the Nomenclature of Enzymes: Everything You Need to Know
If you are familiar with the formal system of enzymes naming, you can unravel many mysteries about the function of a given enzyme without knowing exactly what reaction the enzyme catalyzes.
Enzymes are molecules, especially proteins that help to accelerate biochemical reactions by interacting with components (reactants and products) without permanently changing them. This promotion process is called catalysis, and accordingly, the enzyme itself is recognized as a catalyst. Like many participants in the microbiology community, the names of enzymes can be lengthy and cumbersome, and almost all names end with "-ase". However, if you are familiar with the formal system of enzyme naming, you can unravel many mysteries about the function of a given enzyme without knowing exactly what reaction the enzyme catalyzes.
What Is a Catalyst?
Colloquially, a catalyst is any entity that improves the flow, efficiency of a given endeavor. In a popular analogy. If you are a basketball coach and know that putting a given popular player in the game will fire up the crowd and the entire team, then you are using the catalyst.
Human catalysts make things happen and they tend to make people around them look maximally proficient as well. In the same way, similarly, biocatalysts can make certain biochemical processes appear almost automatic, but in fact, in the absence of enzymes, these processes are staggered toward uncertain conclusions. The catalyst is usually not written into the formula involved in the chemical reaction because, by definition, the catalyst does not change from its original form at the end of the reaction.
Enzymes: Definition and Discovery
By the late 1870s, it has been found that a substance in yeast may cause sugar sources to turn into alcoholic beverages much faster than spontaneously, and the same principle of fermentation applies to the aging of cheese. Allowing it to develop under appropriate conditions, some decaying fruit may eventually lead to the formation of ethanol. However, the addition of yeast not only accelerates the fermentation, but also introduces predictability and control measures throughout the chemical reaction.
"Enzyme" is "with yeast" from the Greek. Today, it refers to biocatalysts in living organisms, or substances produced by biological systems that bring benefits to biological systems.
The primary function of all enzymes is to catalyze metabolic processes occurring within the cell. A more formal enzyme definition states that an enzyme must not only act on a reaction within a living cell, but must also be produced by an organism (the same or a different organism).
Each enzyme can be described in terms of its specificity. This is a measure of the exclusive relationship between the enzyme and its substrate. The substrate is an enzyme-bound molecule, usually a reactant. When an enzyme binds to only one substrate in one reaction, this means absolute specificity. The enzyme has group specificity when it can bind to many different but chemically similar substrates.
The working principle of enzymes (ie, the extent to which they can affect the target response compared to neutral conditions) depends on many factors. These include temperature and acidity, which affect not only the enzyme but also the stability of all proteins. As long as the enzyme is not "saturated", increasing the amount of substrate can increase the rate of reaction. Conversely, the addition of enzymes can accelerate the reaction at a given substrate level and can add more substrate without reaching the production limit.
Most names of enzymes consist of two words, the first word identifies the substrate on which the enzyme acts, and the second word indicates the type of reaction involved (more information about the second attribute of the next part).
Although most enzyme names end in "-ase", many important and well-studied enzyme names do not. Any protease involved in human digestion includes trypsin and pepsin. However, the enzyme suffix "-ase" itself represents only the fact that the protein in question is actually an enzyme and does not involve functional details.
Enzymes are divided into six categories and are classified into several categories based on their functions. Most of these classes also include subclasses. Their names help determine their role, but only if you know some Greek or Latin. They are: oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases, ligases.
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