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Give four reasons why salivary amylase cannot act on proteins.

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frederic7 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 17, 2011 at 1:54 AM via web

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Give four reasons why salivary amylase cannot act on proteins.

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 17, 2011 at 7:42 AM (Answer #1)

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The enzyme known as amylase acts on a specific substrate which is starch. The chemical reaction of starch begins in the mouth as it begins to hydrolyze into maltose, a sugar. Amylase, as all other enzymes, are very specific. One reason is that their 3-dimensional shape has a particular active site that binds to a substrate based on the molecular shape, much like a key fits to a particular lock. Other factors that affect enzyme specificity are charge as well as the hydrophilic and hydrophobic characteristics of both enzyme and substrate.

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