How do enzymes differ from hormones?

1 Answer
Jul 12, 2014

Enzymes are most often proteins. They increase the rate of a reaction but are not consumed in the reaction.
They reduce the activation energy. This is somewhat like making a doorstep lower so it is easier to walk through the door.

They are highly specific to the reaction and act very locally. All that means is that an enzyme for the reaction A+B ---> C will not work for D+F--->G.
Other chemicals can effect enzymes including some poisons like cyanide.

Hormones are similar in some ways but not in others. Some enzymes and some hormones have similar actions. For example, some digestion functions in the intestinal tract use both enzymes and hormones. These hormones, include insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin while the enzymes include amylase and pepsin. The digestive hormones cause the digestive enzymes to begin their jobs.

Hormones travel long distances by blood or tissue fluid and affect several targets not just one simple reaction. They do not lower activation levels.