What are the Discovery of Enzymes



What are the Discovery of Enzymes?

Man has used enzymic processes, such as fermenting of grape juice and souring of milk,  for thousands of years, knowing little about their chemistry. Over 100 years, ago,Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and bacteriologist, found that these processes were brought about by specific micro_ organisms that provided enzymes ( called Ferments¹ by him) for them. In 1987, Eduatd Buchner, a German chemist and Nobal Laureate 1907, found that an extract from yeast fermented glucose like the yeast itself wouldout living cells. So the term 'enzyme' was coined ( Gr.en= in; zyme= leaven). It literally means, 'in yeast', but is now used for all enzymes. Since then, many enzymes have been isolated from living cells.


Louis Pasteur ( 1822_ 1895). He found that fermenting of grape  juice  and souring of milk were caused by microorganisms. 

What are Enzymes?

Almost all enzymes are proteins. There are some nucleic acids that behave like enzymes . These are called ribozymes. One can depict an enzyme by a line diagram. An enzyme like any protein has a primary structure, i.e.,amino acid sequence of the protein. An enzyme like any protein has the secondary and the tertiary structure. When you look at a  tertiary structure you will notice that the backbone of the protein chain folds upon itself, the chain criss__ crosses itself and hence, many crevices or pockets are made. One such pocket is the 'active sites,. An active site of an enzyme is a crevice or pocket into which the substrate fits. Thus enzymes, through their active site, catalyse  reactions at a high rate. Enzyme catalysts differ from inorganic catalysts in  many ways, but one major difference needs mention. Inorganic catalysts work efficiently at high temperatures and high pressures, while enzymes get damaged at high temperatures ( say above 40°C). However, enzymes isolated from organisms who normally live under extremely high temperatures (e.g.,hot vents and sulphur springs), are stable and retain their catalytic power even at high temperatures ( upon 80°__ 90°C). Thermal stability is thus an important quantity of such enzymes isolated from thermophili  organisms. 


             A tertiary structure of proteins 
 Enzymes are organic compounds necessary for normal metabolism in the cell. They are often called regulatory substances. They are needed is small amounts.

The enzymes are organic compounds ( mostly² proteins) produced by the living cells to speed up the spontaneous³ biochemical reactions in and outside the cells in living organisms. The process of speeding up chemical reactions is called catalysis, and the substance that speed up the reactions are termed catalytic components or catalysts.As the enzymes are secreted by living cells and they speed up chemical reactions, they are known as biocatalysts. The reactants in an enzyme _ catalyzed reaction are called the enzyme's substrates, and the substance produced in the reaction is termed products. The study of the compostion and function of the enzymes is known as enzymology (enzymes +G.logos= study). A specialist in enzymes is called enzymologist.

















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