Starting with A for "ACE inhibitor" and continuing through to Y for "Yolk Sac Tumour", we give you succinct explanations for scientific and medical terms in clear and simple words.
- EnzymesEnzymes are so-called biocatalysts. They are macromolecules, mostly proteins, which catalyse chemical reactions in biological systems, which means that they accelerate the reactions without being consumed themselves. The acceleration of chemical reactions by at least a factor of 10 and the reduction of free energy make it possible for chemical reactions to occur at body temperature. In principle, enzymes can catalyse reactions in both directions. As however there is a sequence of metabolic reactions, the product is removed and the equilibrium is displaced, so that the reactions run in one direction.
Enzymes can be inhibited by an excess of starting material of product, by poisons, metal ions or by other means. The names established by the International Nomenclature Committee in the Enzyme Catalogue are binding for the naming of enzymes. The names are mostly based on the type of reaction and substrate. The names of enzymes end in -ase.
Glossary entries: Roche and Walter de Gruyter, Berlin