Structure and Function:
Amylase is an enzyme produced by the exocrine glands with ability to cleave 1,4-glucose linkages. Amylase breaks down starch into maltose and limits dextrans. Alpha amylase is found in animals and requires calcium and chloride ions for activity. There are at least 2 amylase isoenzymes, S (salivary, 1) and P (pancreatic, 2). It is a lyase (1,4-glucanglucanohydrolase). MW 45,000. EC 126.96.36.199
What enzymes need
1. A coenzyme - a non-protein organic substance which is able to be split (dialyzable), temperature stable (thermostable) and loosely attached to the protein part.
2. A prosthetic group - an organic substance which is dialyzable and thermostable which is firmly attached to the protein or apoenzyme portion. In other words an enzyme that is able to convert into other types of enzymes depending on the substrates.
3. A metal-ion-activator - these include potassium (K+), Iron (Fe++, Fe+++), copper (Cu++), cobalt (Co++), zinc (Zn++), Manganese (Mn++), Magnesium (Mg++), Calcium (Ca++), and Molybdenum (Mo+++).
Decreased amylase levels may indicate:
- Damage to the pancreas
- Kidney disease
- Pancreatic cancer
- Toxemia of pregnanc