enzyme

noun
en·zyme | \ˈen-ˌzīm \

Definition of enzyme 

: any of numerous complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures

Examples of enzyme in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This tropical fruit contains two important electrolytes, potassium and magnesium, plus antioxidants that prevent inflammation and actinidin, an enzyme that helps with protein digestion. NBC News, "8 summer superfoods to eat after a tough workout," 11 July 2018 The latest example involved a group of drugs called BACE inhibitors, meant to block an enzyme key to the formation of amyloid plaques. Damian Garde, STAT, "Biogen reports positive results with Alzheimer’s drug, reviving hopes for once-failed treatment," 5 July 2018 Choanoflagellates have genes for tyrosine kinases, enzymes that, in complex animals, help control the functions of specialized cells, such as insulin secretion in the pancreas. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "The momentous transition to multicellular life may not have been so hard after all," 28 June 2018 Bueso saw health improvements with the new drug, Naglazyme, an enzyme replacement therapy. Sophie Haigney, San Francisco Chronicle, "She wasn’t expected to live past 7. Saturday she graduates from college with honors," 8 June 2018 For example, the sun causes certain genes to product collagenase, an enzyme that degrades collagen in your skin. Dr. Leslie Baumann, miamiherald, "What you need to know about 'hazardous' sunscreen ingredients | Miami Herald," 27 Apr. 2018 During the study, however, the team accidently engineered an enzyme that was even better at breaking down PET plastic. National Geographic, "Enzyme That Eats Plastic Accidentally Found in Lab," 20 Apr. 2018 The drug blocks an enzyme containing the metal manganese. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "UCSD discovery points way to possible universal flu drug," 20 Mar. 2018 To manage its eucalyptus-exclusive diet, the koala is equipped with special enzymes that break down the toxic molecules and expel them, which scientists suspect happens through urine. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Can the Koala Genome Save the Species From Deforestation and Chlamydia?," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enzyme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of enzyme

1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for enzyme

German Enzym, from Middle Greek enzymos leavened, from Greek en- + zymē leaven — more at juice

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Statistics for enzyme

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for enzyme

The first known use of enzyme was in 1881

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More Definitions for enzyme

enzyme

noun

English Language Learners Definition of enzyme

: a chemical substance in animals and plants that helps to cause natural processes (such as digestion)

enzyme

noun
en·zyme | \ˈen-ˌzīm \

Kids Definition of enzyme

: a substance produced by body cells that helps bring about or speed up bodily chemical activities (as the digestion of food) without being destroyed in so doing

enzyme

noun
en·zyme | \ˈen-ˌzīm \

Medical Definition of enzyme 

: any of numerous complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures

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Comments on enzyme

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