Bio Unit 5.2 Discussion - (3 Amylase is a digestive enzyme...

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(3). Amylase is a digestive enzyme that breaks down starch and is secreted in the mouth of humans. Amylase functions well in the mouth but ceases to function once it hits the acidic stomach environment. Explain why amylase does not function in the stomach. To begin, it sounds like this discussion thread refers primarily to alpha-amylase, as opposed to beta-amylase (an enzyme found primarily in the seeds of plants and sweet potatoes) and gamma-amylase. In contrast to the beta and gamma amylases, alpha- amylase breaks down starches through catalyzing the hydrolysis of internal alpha-1,4- glucan links in polysaccharides. Research has shown that alpha-amylase is a glycoprotein (Beaupoil-Abadie et al., 1973), which comprises a single polypeptide chain of 475 residues with two S-H groups, four disulfide bridges and a tightly bound calcium ion (Granger et al., 1975; Steer et al., 1974). Levitski and Steer (1974) have also reported that alpha-amylase contains a chloride binding site, which can enhance the activity of the enzyme.
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