What Is the Function of Enzymes?


Quick Answer

The function of enzymes is to speed up chemical reactions. Enzymes do this by reducing the amount of energy needed for a reaction to occur, reports Arizona State University.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

There are more than 2,700 enzymes in the human body, according to an article published in Genome Biology. Around 1,650 of these enzymes are classified as metabolic enzymes. Some enzymes weaken the bonds between molecules, while others create new bonds by forcing atoms or molecules together, states Yakima Valley Community College.

The human body would not be able to carry out many of its normal functions without enzymes. Digestion, for example, would not occur without enzymes available to help break down different molecules. Salivary amylase and pancreatic amylase are responsible for breaking down starch into maltose. Maltase then breaks the maltose down into glucose. The lipase produced by the pancreas breaks fats into fatty acids and monoglycerides. Pepsin and trypsin break proteins into peptides. Then, peptidases break the peptides into amino acids, as explained by Dr. Michael Gregory of Clinton Community College.

The enzymes found in the liver are necessary for blood filtration and nutrient metabolism, according to WebMD. Alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and aspartate aminotransferase are three such enzymes. If the liver sustains damage, these enzymes leak into the blood.

Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA

Related Questions