Hydrolytic enzyme

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noun, plural: hydrolytic enzymes

Any of the enzymes or catalysts that act and behave like a hydrolase.


In biochemistry, a hydrolase is an enzyme that speeds up the hydrolysis of a chemical bond. For instance, a hydrolytic enzyme acts on the following reaction:

A–B + H2O → A–OH + B–H

These enzymes catalyze the hydrolysis of a chemical bond of a compound such as proteins, nucleic acids, starch, fats, phosphate esters, and other macromolecular substances.

Word origin: hydrolysis: Gk, comb. form of hýdōr, water +Gk lytikós able to loosen; enzyme: Gk. enzymos "leavened," from en- "in" + zyme "leaven".

Synonym: hydrolase.
See also: hydrolysis.