Enzymes - What are they and what are their tasks in the body?

What are enzymes?

Enzymes are biological giant molecules that catalyze chemical reactions in the body. This makes them essential for the organism, as important reactions would otherwise not or too slowly[1].

What are your tasks in the body?

Abb. 1 Das Bändermodell der Triosephosphatisomerase, welches ein wichtiger Teil des Einfach- und Traubenzuckerabbaus ist.

Enzymes catalyze chemical reactions in the body. They make sure that reactions run faster, or run at all. This happens selectively, and different enzymes have different roles. They also have 6 classes:

-EC1: Oxireductases - which reduce molecules

-EC2: transferases - which can replace and exchange functional groups

-EC3: Hydrolases - Which split molecules by adding water onto them

-EC4: Lyases - Which break apart or synthesize complex molecules

-EC5: Isomersen - Which isomerize molecules

-EC6: Ligases - Which catalyze addition reactions[2]

What are enzymes chemically?

Enzymes are so-called macromolecules, ie very large molecules. They are long chains of amino acids, even longer than peptides with a chain length of upwards of 100 amino acids. There are many different ones, with different tasks. They may exist as monomers, ie a polypeptide chain or a plurality of polypeptide chains, a so-called oligomer. Chemically, they are biocatalysts, where a catalyst is a substance which reduces the energy required for a reaction (also called a material transformation). They function by binding substances to their active center and doing their respective work there. You can join others to to regenerate and regulate each other. In addition, there are the pure enzymes, which consist only of enzymes, and the holoenzymes, which consist of an enzyme and a cofactor, e.g. consist of a metal ion [3].

Fig. 2 An energy diagram to illustrate the mode of action of a catalyst (reduced energy requirement red)

What are their applications?

In addition to the obvious biological significance, enzymes are also expressed in e.g. Detergents used to dissolve fats and the like (splitting by lipases), in cheese production, and in medicine[4].

What do enzymes do in cosmetics?

In cosmetics, enzymes are used as an antidote to aging. They help with this, e.g. pad the skin by stimulating collagen synthesis[5].

Sources:

Wikipedia[1][2][3][4]

Report on skin aging effects of enzymes[5]

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