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Difference between Enzyme and Protein

Enzyme and Protein

Our body consists of various cells, performing different functions with the aid of biomolecules. Similarly, enzymes and proteins are the types of biomolecules playing a crucial role in the living body. The key feature differentiating these terminologies is that an enzyme accelerates a reaction. On the contrary, numerous proteins help in different functions of a body through chemical reactions.

Both have some common characteristics but overall are considered separate units. Having said that, all enzymes are proteins, but not all proteins would have to be enzymes.

Let’s flip through the article to clarify the concepts and find the differences between enzymes and proteins.

Comparison Table

SignificanceAs the type
of proteins
As the type of
StructuresGlobularGlobular or Fibrous
SpecificitySubstrate-SpecificNot Specific
ClassificationBased on
Based on
chem. reactions
Role in a
Chemical Reaction
Accelerates a reactionRegulates mechanisms
ClassificationLigases, lipases,
transferases, etc.
Primary, secondary
& tertiary structures

What are Enzymes?

Enzymes are characterized as proteins functioning as biological catalysts. These catalysts play a task in accelerating chemical reactions without taking part in the reaction. The molecules where enzymes affect are called substrates. These substrates further transform into several molecules called products.


An enzyme is a globular protein, or you can call it a biological catalyst. It accelerates various biological reactions by subtracting the energy of the reaction and finalizing it through alternative pathways. It eventually increases the speed of the reaction. Considerably, enzymes display a high particularity to molecules binding to them. The inactive group is named the apoenzyme, and the binding of a cofactor triggers it. The triggered enzyme is named the holoenzyme. Substrates attach to the site of the enzyme. An enzyme normally regulates in three possible ways:

  • It works by either controlling the concentration of enzymes through enzyme degradation or by regulating enzyme expression.
  • It regulates the body’s activities by binding to different inhibitors or modifying its structure.
  • Besides, an enzyme can also function depending on the substrate availability and how much product it produces.

What are Proteins?

Proteins are defined as macromolecules (or macronutrients ) consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues. They play an important role in maintaining the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs. A protein is one of the four primary biological macromolecules found within the body. When different amino acids coil together, they form proteins. The aminoalkanoic acid sequence of a selected protein is determined by the knowledge encoded within the corresponding gene. The protein assembly method is named protein synthesis occurs through two steps transcription and translation.


Furthermore, the unions that associate amino acids together are called peptide bonds. The synthesized polypeptide chain then shapes either the secondary structures like alpha-helical and beta sheets, tertiary structures like globular proteins and filamentous proteins, or the quaternary structure of proteins by coming together with the protein subunits. Normally, fibrous and globular proteins are from different cells and tissues in the body. Fibrous protein strengthens different structures, including cartilages, muscles, cell membrane components, hair, etc. The other notable protein type is the globular protein, forming antibodies to boost our immunity.

Differences between Enzyme and Protein

There are a few similarities, but the extensive differences make enzymes and proteins separate biomolecules. So, let’s run down the different features below:


An enzyme is a natural substance present in all living entities, acting to accelerate a chemical reaction. On the other hand, all proteins are nitrogenous compounds with large molecular mass and several roles in numerous body parts.


Enzymes are classified as supporting their function, while proteins are classified based on their chemical composition.

Primary Function

Enzymes and proteins are two types of biomolecules within the body, that perform important body functions. The major difference between them is that the enzyme functions as a biological catalyst. On the other side, proteins play a role in the body’s structural formation, transportation, catalysis, and regulation of biological processes.

Structure Dissimilarity

Moreover, when we thoroughly examine an enzyme and a protein’s structure, they have different shapes. All enzymes are globular proteins, while the proteins can be globular or fibrous structures.


All enzymes are natural proteins, whereas all proteins cannot be enzymes. Proteins act as enzymes only when they function to lower the activation energy.


Proteins come in a broad range of specifications essential for proper functioning. But, this doesn’t lessen the enzyme significance as all enzymes work to kick start a reaction and generate different products.

1 thought on “Difference between Enzyme and Protein”

  1. Hello Chelsea,

    Thank you for this post, it has answered a number of questions for me. I do need help with another question and was hoping you knew the answer.

    In general, what are the errors an enzyme can make and (at least in plants), could temperature be a variable affecting the quantity of these errors?

    Thank you so much,


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