3. Enzymes, and their activities

Examples of specific enzymes

There are thousands of enzymes in the human body, here are just a few examples:

  • Lipases – a group of enzymes that help digest fats in the gut.
  • Amylase – helps change starches into sugars. Amylase is found in saliva.
  • Maltase – also found in saliva; breaks the sugar maltose into glucose. Maltose is found in foods such as potatoes, pasta, and beer.
  • Trypsin – found in the small intestine, breaks proteins down into amino acids.
  • Lactase – also found in the small intestine, breaks lactose, the sugar in milk, into glucose and galactose.
  • Acetylcholinesterase – breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in nerves and muscles.
  • Helicase – unravels DNA.
  • DNA polymerase – synthesize DNA from deoxyribonucleotides.

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