Chemistry

Difference Between Alpha Amylase and Beta Amylase

Main difference

The main difference between alpha amylase and beta amylase is that alpha amylase is the digestive enzyme while beta amylase is the enzyme that ripens the fruit and germinates the seeds.

Alpha amylase vs beta amylase

Alpha amylase is the enzyme that digests carbohydrates; on the other hand, beta amylase is the enzyme that ripens the fruit and germinates the seeds. Alpha amylase is abundantly present in animals; on the other hand, beta amylase is abundantly present in plants. The mammalian digestive system secretes alpha amylase; on the opposite side, beta amylase is secreted by plant, fungal, and bacterial cells or by animal cells.

Alpha amylase is also known as 1,4-α-D-glucan glucanohydrolase and glycogenase; on the other hand, beta amylase is also known as 1,4-α-D-glucan maltohydrolase, glycogenase or saccharogen. The EC number of alpha amylase is 3.2.1.1; on the other hand, the EC number of beta amylase is 3.2.1.2. The optimal pH of alpha amylase is 6.7 to 7; on the other hand, the optimal pH of beta amylase is 4 to 5.

Alpha amylase acts primarily on any part of the substrate; On the other side of the coin, beta amylase acts primarily at the non-reducing end and causes lysis of the glycosidic bond. The action of alpha amylase is faster than that of beta amylase; on the other hand, the action of beta amylase is slower than that of alpha amylase.

Alpha amylase is insensitive to environmental conditions such as high temperatures and heavy metal ions, but is inactivated at low pH; Beta amylase is very sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature and heavy metal ions, and generally remains stable at low pH.

Comparison chart
Alpha amylase beta amylase
It is the digestive enzyme produced by the digestive system of mammals. It is the enzyme of fruit ripening and seed germination produced mainly by plant cells.
EC number
EC number is 3.2.1.1 EC number is 3.2.1.2
Production
The animal digestive system produces it. It is produced by fungi, bacteria, plants and some animal cells.
Calcium dependent
Calcium is essential Calcium is not necessary
optimal pH
Its optimal pH is 6.7 to 7 Its optimal pH is between 4 and 5.
site of action
Acts on any part of the substrate Acts on the non-reducing end of the substrate
speed of action
Faster than beta amylase slower than alpha amylase
Sensitivity
It is insensitive to high temperatures and heavy metal ions. It is very sensitive to high temperatures, heat and heavy metal ions.
at low pH
Alpha amylase is inactive at low pH Beta amylase is active at low pH

What is alpha amylase?

Alpha amylase is generally used as the main digestive enzyme of the animal body. Its main function is in the digestive system of mammals. It is also known as glycogenase. Its concentration is very high in saliva for the partial digestion of carbohydrates that enter the digestive system of the mammalian body.

The EC number of alpha amylase is 3.2.1.1. The optimal pH of alpha amylase is 6.7 to 7. It means that alpha amylase will remain inactive at low pH concentration. The amount of calcium is essential in the function of alpha amylase. The main function is the conversion of long-chain carbohydrate molecules into smaller molecules such as maltotriose and maltose.

Alpha amylase is very effective and fast acting as it is insensitive to high temperature and heavy metal ion concentration. Each enzyme is specific for its action on the substrate, but alpha amylase can perform its action anywhere on the substrate.

What is beta amylase?

Beta amylase is generally used as a seed enzyme that matures and germinates in the plant body. Its main functions are well in plant cells, bacteria, fungi and some animal cells. It is also known as saccharogen. Its concentration is high in plant cells. It also intervenes in the development of plants and fruits.

The EC number of beta amylase is 3.2.1.2. The optimal pH of beta amylase is 4 to 5. It means that beta amylase will be effective and active at low pH concentrations. Not all animals generally participate in the production of beta amylase. The amount of concentration is not essential to its function, but may be necessary. Beta amylase can cause the destruction or breakdown of starch to maltose, which leads to ripening and sweet flavor of fruits.

Beta amylase is less effective and very slow acting. Each enzyme is specific in its action on the substrate. The same beta amylase acts mainly on the non-reducing ends causing the breaking of the second glycosidic bonds. Beta amylase is very sensitive to high temperatures, heat, and heavy metal ions.

Key differences

  1. Alpha amylase is also known as glycogenase; on the other hand, beta amylase, also known as sacagen.
  2. Alpha amylase is secreted by the digestive cells of mammals; On the other hand, beta amylase is secreted by fungi, bacteria, plants, and also in some animal cells.
  3. The speed of action of alpha amylase is faster compared to beta amylase; on the opposite side, the rate of action of beta amylase is very slow compared to alpha amylase.
  4. Alpha amylase can act anywhere on the substrate; On the other side of the coin, beta amylase acts primarily on the non-reducing end, causing hydrolysis of the second glycosidic bond.
  5. Alpha amylase is inactive at low pH; on the other hand, beta amylase is active at low pH.
  6. Alpha amylase is mainly unaffected by high temperature and heavy metal ion concentration; on the other hand, beta amylase is very sensitive to high temperature and heavy metal ion concentration.
  7. The optimal pH of alpha amylase is 6.7 to 7; on the opposite side, the optimal pH of beta amylase is 4 to 5.
  8. In the function of alpha amylase, calcium is essential; On the other side of the coin, in beta amylase function, calcium is not very necessary.
  9. The EC number of alpha amylase is 3.2.1.1; on the other hand, the EC number of beta amylase is 3.2.1.2.

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