Amylase Protease Cellulase & Lipase Enzymes.
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Sub Contents:

How Do Enzymes Function?

How Are Enzymes Named?
Where Do Enzymes Come From?
How Are Enzymes Produced?
Activity and Stability of Enzymes?

How Are Enzymes Named?

One researcher reports treating grain, sorghum or barley with the enzyme "gumase" while another reports the same with the enzyme "beta-glucanase" When methodologies are examined, it is discovered that both of  these preparations are the same product. Unfortunately, this apparent contradiction in terms happens often. Enzymes have been  named by several methods and  this fact has been known  to cause confusion in their  classification. For example, common or "trivial" names of enzymes, generally contain a  prefix representing the name of the substance or substrate upon which  they act or affect,   followed by the suffix "ase". The "ase" simply denotes or identifies that the substance is an enzyme. Examples of this system of nomenclature includes the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of proteins into their component amino acids, the name of this enzyme is "protease" or "proteinase".

Another example is the enzyme that accelerates the breakdown of the two components of starch into sugars. The components of starch are known as "amylose" and "amylo-pectin", thus, the enzyme helping to break them down is called "amylase". Confusion may exist, however, when older names of enzymes are used. Included in these older terms are ficin, pepsin, bromelin and trypsin, which are older trivial names of individual types of protease preparations, the enzymes that accelerate digestion of proteins. There are also many sub- classes of enzymes. Amylases are a prime example; subclasses of amylase include: alpha-amylase, beta-amylase, and gluco-amylase, to name a few. All these enzymes do is accelerate the digestion of starch and are broadly classified as amylases, but their actions are all slightly different in nature.

To help sort this out, the International Union of Biochemistry in 1961 proposed a system for enzymes' classification and naming which is finding acceptance  mainly  in this discussion. One example of this system, however, is the term: "alpha 1, 4-glucan glucanohydrolase" which is a name for alpha-amylase.

All these systems of nomenclature may become confusing to someone who has use for only a few types of enzymes or uses them for industrial or  agricultural purposes. Therefore, the use of the more widely known terms such as "amylase" and "protease" are more or less universally in these fields. It should be remembered, however, that there are many types of enzymes that fit into these broad categories that may be more or less suitable for specific agriculturally related application. The final selection for a specific application should be made only after consulting a knowledgeable individual well versed   in the technical aspects of the particular enzyme requirements and applicable characteristics.


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