Enzymes are biomolecules that catalyze chemical reactions in living organisms. Enzymes can be found in all body tissues, including the liver, pancreas, and muscles. Some enzymes are also secreted into the gastrointestinal tract to help break down food.Enzymes are proteins that bind to a specific substrate and convert it into another molecule. The substrate is the molecule that the enzyme acts on. The product is the molecule that is produced by the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. Enzymes are very specific; each one only catalyzes a single reaction or a small group of closely related reactions.Enzymes are classified according to the type of reaction they catalyze. For example, there are enzymes that catalyze reactions involving the transfer of a phosphate group (phosphotransferases), those that break down carbohydrates (glycosidases), and those that synthesize DNA (DNA polymerases).The activity of an enzyme is affected by several factors, including temperature, pH, and the concentration of substrates and products. Most enzymes have an optimum temperature at which they function best. Above or below this optimum temperature, the activity of the enzyme decreases. The activity of some enzymes can be completely inhibited at extreme temperatures. pH also affects enzyme activity; most enzymes have an optimum pH at which they function best. Above or below this optimum pH, enzyme activity decreases.The activity of an enzyme can also be affected by its substrates and products. If the concentration of substrates is too low, the enzyme will not be able to convert them into products fast enough to keep up with the rate of reaction.
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