What enzymnes are?

Essay by obelix3 May 2004

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In this essay, the different types of enzymes existing are going to be discussed and how they are used in industry is also going to be discussed. There are 2000 different enzymes existing in the world. These enzymes are grouped according to the type of reaction they catalyze, (speed up). There are a thousand different reactions taking place in an individual cell and each reaction involves a specific enzyme. There are six major groups, that enzymes categorize into and the categorizations into groups are depended on the type of reaction the enzyme catalyses.

The first group is the 'oxidoreductases' group. The type of reaction catalysed in this group is the removal or addition of hydrogen atoms, oxygen, or electrons from one molecule to another (oxidation or reduction-or in other words redox reaction.):

alcohol dehydrogenase

Ethanal + NADH + H+ → ethanol+ NAD+

In this reaction hydrogen is at the same time lost from NADH and gained by ethanal.

NADH is oxidized to NAD+, and ethanal is reduced to ethanol. This process takes place during anaerobic respiration in yeasts and plants. Succinate is another example of an enzyme belonging to this group.

Another group that enzymes categorizes into are the 'TRANSFERASES' group, where the type of reaction catalysed is the transfer of a group from one compound to another.


Glutamic acid + pyruvic acid→alpha-ketoglutaric acid + alanine

This is a reaction where the R group on the amino acid, glutamic acid, is exchanged with the R group on a keto acid, pyruvic acid. A new amino acid, alanine is formed along with a new keto acid, alpha-ketoglutaric acid. In this process non-essential amino acids could be made from the essential amino acids.

Another group that enzymes categorizes into are the hydrolases. The reaction that is sped up in this...