Amylase is an exoenzyme because it is produced in cells and then released into the body to aid in the digestion of starches. Salivary gland cells release amylase into the mouth, while pancreas cells release amylase to the small intestine.
Exoenzymes are biological catalysts for chemical reactions in the body that involve compounds that cannot be brought into cells. Amylase uses hydrolysis to break large starch molecules into smaller molecules that are further digested and used by cells for energy. Generally, amylase remains in the digestive system. High concentrations of amylase found in blood or urine indicate health problems, such as pancreatitis, stomach ulcers and kidney failure.