Life in the simplest terms is just a series of chemical reactions. And to sustain life organisms require enzymes. Enzymes are organic proteins that control and increase the speed of chemical reactions. Acting as biological catalysts, enzymes speed up conversions and lower the energy spent. Enzymes are immensely important and take part in many vital reactions in every living organism. Examples of processes that require enzymes: Protein synthesis, cellular respiration, and fertilization.
In animals enzymes are categorized into three classes: Digestive enzymes, Metabolic enzymes, and food enzymes. All of which are encoded by genes.
Digestive enzymes break down proteins, lipids, and glucose from food. They can be found in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. They break down food into its useable molecules that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Enzyme examples: Lactase, Pepsin, Trypsin, and more.
Metabolic enzymes bind to substrates throughout the body to speed up reactions and lower the required activation energy. Allowing the body to function effectively. Without enzymes our body would have an impossible job of keeping up with cellular demand. Enzyme examples: Kinase, Lyase, Transferase, and Decarboxylase.
Food enzymes are obtained from raw food, they are enzymes from external sources that you eat. Food enzymes help you digest their own source, i.e. the food you ate. Enzyme examples: Protease, Amylase, Lipase, and more.
Enzymes bind with substances called substrates in order to stimulate the chemical reaction. Once the enzyme ﬁnds the substrate there are two types of binding: lock and key which is a perfect ﬁt in-between substrate and enzyme, or induced ﬁt where the active site of the enzyme morphs into the shape of the substrate.
Enzymes are mainly globular proteins whose amino acid structure determines their catalytic function. While a small amount of enzymes are RNA-based, almost all enzymes are organic biochemical proteins.