Research Enzymes: Classes And Applications

Research enzymes , due to the functional diversity they present, are one of the most widely used biomolecules in scientific research laboratories. These catalytic proteins play a fundamental role in fields as diverse as the manufacture of detergents, the synthesis of new drugs or various analytical tests with clinical, forensic or environmental applications.

In this post we bring you a summary of the classes and applications of enzymes for research .

Classes Of Enzymes For Research

Although research enzymes can be classified according to different criteria such as their origin (bacterial, animal, vegetable, etc.) or the application in which they are to be used, the most relevant classification is the one made according to the type of reaction they catalyze.

Following this last criterion, we find 6 classes of enzymes :

1.- Oxidoreductasas

They are the enzymes that catalyze oxide-reduction reactions. Within this category are, among others, dehydrogenases, oxidases and peroxidases.

2.- Transferases

They transfer a functional group (eg, a methyl or a phosphate group) from one compound to another. As examples we would have phosphotransferases, methyltransferases or kinases.

3.- Hydrolases

They catalyze the hydrolytic cleavage of CO, CN, CC bonds, among others. This group would include, for example, proteases or phosphatases.

4.- Liasas

They are the enzymes responsible for the breakdown reactions and formation of double bonds. They catalyze the addition of ammonia, water, or carbon dioxide to the double bonds, or they remove them to form double bonds. As an example we would have aldolasas or synthases.

5.- Isomerases

They catalyze the transfer of groups within a molecule resulting in isomeric forms of the substrate. As an example we can cite the mutases.

6.- Leagues

They catalyze the union of two substrates. As an example, carboxylases or synthetases.

Applications Of Enzymes For Research

Research enzymes are increasingly used to replace the use of chemicals or processes that represent an environmental or safety problem. This is due to the fact that, on the one hand, they allow processes that use aggressive chemical substances to be replaced by milder and non-toxic enzymatic processes, and on the other, because the biotechnological process of enzyme production itself has minimal environmental impact.

Among the fields with the most important applications of enzymes for research are:


Enzymes have a wide variety of analytical applications due to their ability to detect and amplify a specific analyte:

  • Enzymatic assays for detection and quantification
  • Immunodiagnostic assays, as a signal amplifying agent (for example, in ELISA immunoassays )

Enzymes are used as therapeutic agents with different medical applications :

  • Treatment of enzyme-related disorders
  • Aids metabolism
  • Helps in the transport of drugs
  • Diagnosis of diseases
  • Synthesis of new drugs

Enzymes are also used in different industrial processes in order to facilitate production or improve the product resulting from a certain process, among others.

Among the industrial applications include:

  • Food industry, for the processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (amylases, lactases, pectinases, lipases, etc.).
  • Leather industry, to remove hair and the remains of proteins and fats that may remain in the fabric (proteases and lipases).
  • Textile industry, to give fabrics a softer appearance (cellulases), or to remove hydrogen peroxide residues after a bleaching process (catalase).
  • Detergents and washing agents industry, for the elimination of stains on clothes (proteases, lipases, amylases).