Cellulase Emily Peirce

What are Enzymes?

Enzymes are proteins that are found pretty much everywhere. Every kind of enzyme is different in that it has a job special to its type. Enzymes are made up of long chains of amino acids. The amino acids then fold into specific shapes, which make specific kinds of enzymes. One specific kind of enzyme is a cellulase enzyme.

Keeping Enzymes Under Control

Enzymes are found in all of our bodies doing things such as controlling our metabolism or controlling the amount of materials inside you. How can you control the enzymes, though? Our bodies naturally control enzymes by regulating the amount of enzymes they make, organizing where the enzymes are located in each cell or organism, and regulating the catalytic power of enzyme molecules.

Cellulase Enzyme

Substrates and Amino Acids

The substrate in a chemical reaction involving enzymes is the place that the active site binds to. Cellulase's substrate is cellulose (more specifically Cellulose Azure). Amino acids are organic compounds with carboxyl and amino groups. Cellulase is a polypeptide chain made up of 181 amino acids.

Sections of Cellulase Amino Acids Sequence

Cellulose's Purpose

Cellulose is an enzyme that isn't generated by humans. Instead, it is produced by certain fungi bacteria and protozoans. It is used to break down cellulose in plants and convert it into beta-glucose. As humans we need the cellulase to help us break down plants that we eat such as herbs. If you don't have enough cellulase in your body, you can take medication to increase the amount of beta-glucose in your body.

Activating Cellulase

Actin (a protein) is commonly used in activating the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose. In cellulase enzymes, actin is mostly directed towards the endoglucanases. With a higher concentration of actin, the activation is increased. It is also believed that Zinc has an impact on the activation of cellulose. This is because termites, which produce cellulase, have had large traces of Zinc in their bodies.

Cellulase has many uses. One common use is in the production of biofuels. Watch the video below to get a full description.


  • https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01932601
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4018252
  • http://worldofenzymes.info/enzymes-introduction/cellulase/
  • http://www.enzymestuff.com/enzymefunction.htm#top1
  • http://resources.schoolscience.co.uk/unilever/16-18/proteins/Protch6pg5.html
  • http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/biochemicals/biochemical-products.html?TablePage=15844945
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10931178


Created with images by jarekgrafik - "drosera flowers nature"

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