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Introduction to Enzymes

The following has been excerpted from a very popular Worthington publication which was originally published in 1972 as the Manual of Clinical Enzyme Measurements. While some of the presentation may seem somewhat dated, the basic concepts are still helpful for researchers who must use enzymes but who have little background in enzymology.


The use of enzymes in the diagnosis of disease is one of the important benefits derived from the intensive research in biochemistry since the 1940's. Enzymes have provided the basis for the field of clinical chemistry.

It is, however, only within the recent past few decades that interest in diagnostic enzymology has multiplied. Many methods currently on record in the literature are not in wide use, and there are still large areas of medical research in which the diagnostic potential of enzyme reactions has not been explored at all.

This section has been prepared by Worthington Biochemical Corporation as a practical introduction to enzymology. Because of its close involvement over the years in the theoretical as well as the practical aspects of enzymology, Worthington's knowledge covers a broad spectrum of the subject. Some of this information has been assembled here for the benefit of laboratory personnel.

This section summarizes in simple terms the basic theories of enzymology.

 PDF version of Introduction to Enzymes