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Enzymes are generally named by adding ‘-ase’ to the root indicating the substrate on which the enzyme acts. Thus fumarase catalyses the conversion of fumaric acid to malic acid. Enzymes have been divided into 6 groups are following:

1. Oxidoreductases
include a large number of enxymes. They bring about the main energy-yielding reactions of living tissue. Oxidoreductases include oxidases and dehyrogenases. They act by transferring electrons and hydrogen ions.

2. Transferases are concerned with the transfer of a group of atoms from one molecule to another. Oxidoreducatases and transferases together represent over half the enzymes known.

3. Hydrolases. Complex molecules undergo cleavage, and the elements of H2O are added across the bond cleaved by the action of hyrolases.

4. Lyases may work in two ways. A group of atoms may be removed from the substrate leaving double bonds, or groups may be added to double bonds without hyrolysis, oxidation or reduction. The enzymes act on the following bonds: C-C. C-O, C-N, C-S and C-halide.

5. Isomerases catalyse reaction which bring about intramolecular rearrangement of atoms in substrates.

6. Ligases (synthetases) catalyses reactions in which the pyrophosphate bond of ATP is broken down, and linkage takes place between two molecules. These enzymes from the following bonds: C-O, C-S, C-N and C-C.

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