amylase

Science Dictionary
amylase   (ām'ə-lās')  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various enzymes that cause starches to break down into smaller sugars, especially maltose, by hydrolysis. There are two types of amylases, alpha-amylases and beta-amylases. In humans, an alpha-amylase known as ptyalin is present in saliva and is also produced by the pancreas for secretion into the small intestine. Beta-amylases are found in bacteria, molds, yeasts, and the seeds of plants.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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