What is an enzyme?  What are the roles played by the following enzymes amylase, peroxidase and bromelain.

Expert Answers
justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are thousands of chemical reactions that take place in our bodies. The conditions required by most of these reactions are such that they cannot be provided in the environment within the body. This requires the presence of catalysts that lower the activation energy of various reactions and allow them to take place in the environmental conditions present within the body. Enzymes are special proteins that play the role of catalysts.

Amylase is an enzyme that is produced by the salivary glands. The role of this enzyme is to start the process of digestion by aiding the conversion of carbohydrates to disaccharides and trisaccharides.

Peroxidase is an enzyme that aids the breaking down of hydrogen peroxide. It is not found in the human body as hydrogen peroxide has several functions to play in the immune system.

Bromelain is also not produced in the human body. It is a digestive enzyme that helps the body to break down proteins. This enzyme is found in fresh pineapple.

kushshah | Student

Enzymes are proteins that catalyze (i.e.,increase or decrease the rates of) chemical reactions.In enzymatic reactions, themolecules at the beginning of the process are called substrates, and they are converted into different molecules, called the products. Almost all processes in a biological cell need enzymes to occur at significant rates. Since enzymes are selective for their substrates and speed up only a few reactions from among many possibilities, the set of enzymes made in a cell determines which metabolic pathwaysoccur in that cell.