Saturday, December 7, 2013

How are macromolecules broken or digested?

Hydrolysis, which is the reverse of condensation, breaks apart large organic molecules into smaller ones. Hydrolysis enzymes break apart polymers into monomers. By breaking the bonds between monomers, Hydrolysis liberates the energy that polymers contained during dehydration synthesis; thus, some of the energy required to polymerize is returned upon hydrolysis. Hydrolysis plays a very important role in the liberation of usable energy (ATP) within cells. Enzymes are employed in biological systems to effect most hydrolysis reactions. Example: Digestion of food involves numerous hydrolysis reactions.

Figure: Hydrolysis reaction requires water to break the bond between two molecules and give back the free hydrogen and hydroxyl groups.