Enzymes are proteins that possess a specific activity. They are especially studied in enzymology science. These proteins are involved in most processes of any organism, from metabolism to cell signaling, regulation, signal transduction, and cell adhesion. Enzymes often end with "ase".
Enzymes usually act on a substrate that is bound to it. Besides, enzyme can act allosterically. An activator binds to the enzyme and activates it. Once activated, the enzyme is able to modify a substrate bound to it. For instance it can bind a cofactor to a ligand or cleave between amino acids.
Enzymes have a precise classification based on their activity. They are named with E.C code.
There are 6 main classes of enzymes: oxydoreductases (E.C.1), transferases (E.C.2), hydrolase (E.C.3), lyases (E.C.4), isomerases (E.C.5) and ligases (E.C.6).
Enzymes usually have very descriptive names. Oxydoreductases manage biochemical oxydo-reduction reactions. In addition to oxidase or reductase, this class contains dehydrogenases that are responsible for hydrogen removal. It often takes place thanks to hydrogen accepting cofactors such as NAD+ or NADP+.
Transferases remove small molecular groups from one location to another. Such molecules include methyls, acyls, glycosyls, nitrogenous, phosphorus and sulfurous groups. Kinases are transferases that bind a phosphate group from high energy molecules to its substrates.
Hydrolases hydrolyses various chemical bounds. Among them nucleases cleaves nucleic acids bonds. Exonucleases cut these bonds from the ends of DNA or RNA strains whereas endonucleases can manage this in the middle of strains. Hydrolases may also be named after the substrate they hydrolyse such as maltases or amylases.
Lyases cleave atomic bonds. They are further separated depending on the atoms involved, carbons, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur or phosphorus for example.
Isomerases catalyse the mutation between isomers such as epimers or enantiomers. They are especially usefull in Metabolism cycles.
Ligases bind atoms together on the contrary to lyases. They are named in the same manner.
Enzymes in biotechnologies
In addition to the study of cellular mechanism and cell biology, enzymes are also used as biotechnology tools. They provide efficient means to operate complex transformations on biomolecules. Proteases or peptidases for example can cleave proteins between specific amino acids. Restriction enzymes are nucleases used to cleave selective sequence. Taq DNA polymerase is now commonly used in PCR. Given their origin species, they have specific properties that can be further engineered.
Proteogenix offers various enzymes including tool enzymes for your experiments.