Pure Amino Acids
Proteins and Amino Acids -- Enzymes
Molecular assembly and molecular disassembly are essential procedures of life. The synthesis of complex structures from a finite set of raw materials underlies the prodigious complexity of life on earth. Control of molecular synthesis is achieved by enzymes, an elite class of protein molecules.
Enzymes know how to grab other molecules and break them apart or stick them together, according to the very specific blueprint, contained in DNA molecules. Enzymes themselves are made by other enzymes from the amino acids which food proteins provide. There are about two thousand different enzymes.
The largest enzyme populations live inside cells where they are attached to molecular assembly structures. Other enzymes are secreted into body spaces as mobile chemical workers.
Many enzymes become popular after someone writes an article praising their wonderful abilities to manipulate molecular behavior - ingestion of the enzyme is usually recommended. Superoxide dysmutase is one popular enzyme which cannot be delivered by oral intake to the intercellular sites where it does its useful things. Ingested proteins tend to get digested, losing their information as shape and function, or, if they are not digested, may cause allergic reactions rather than functioning normally.
The next development of molecular engineering may be vehicles to deliver enzymes to intracellular sites where they will be useful. Delivery vehicles may be physical structures or carrier molecules that protect the enzymes while directing them through the GIT, circulation, and filtering systems like the liver and lungs.