10 Difference between Enzymes and Hormones

Enzymes and hormones are biogenic substances present in all living organisms like both plants and animals.

They are both secreted by specific glands in the body like the exocrine and endocrine types.  

While an enzyme is just a catalyst in a biochemical reaction, the hormone is a signaling agent.

Thus, their functions and roles are quite different in the body as described below.

Difference between Enzymes and Hormones

Character Enzymes Hormones
Chemistry They are only proteins in nature and may have a metallic group. They can be proteins, amino-acids, steroids etc. See types of hormones for detail
Prosthetic group Enzymes have vitamins and inorganic element are prosthetic groups. Without which, they do not act. They have no prosthetic groups.
Size Relatively large in size Small in size.
Role Catalysts to enhance rate of reactions Signal passers from one cell to other or between organs.
Chemical stability They stay as such after their function. They are damage during the process and hence cannot be reused
Regulation They function under strict conditions of temperature and pH in the body. They are not limited by temperature or pH but controlled by brain or external factors.
Formation and action They are formed and also act at the site of action They are formed and act at a distant site
Contribution to life They have limited but essential functions They have diverse functions to control body growth, reproduction and physiology
Examples Hydrolases, oxidases, isomerase, etc. in both plants and animals Oxytocin, testosterone, cortisol in animals.

Absicic acid, cytokines, gibberlins in plants.

Also, their formation and secretion vary in both plants and animals.

Enzymes are bio-catalysts that help in speeding up biochemical reactions.

While hormones are substances that act as messengers to communicate in between cells and organs.

Before going further, read what are hormones and also enzymes.

So the above difference is common in animals and plants.

But there are also differences in only animals. Before you read further, read hormones of plants and animals.

Character Enzymes Hormones
Formation In animals enzymes are synthesized and secreted by exocrine glands While the hormones are synthesized and secreted by endocrine glands
Release They are released near to the site of action. They act at the distant part from the gland and hence are carried by the blood to distant organs
Regulation of secretionEnzymes are released when the substrate is present.Hormones are released based on positive and negative feedback mechanisms as a part of body’s homeostasis.
Function Their function is to help convert a substrate into a product.Their function is to pass a signal which can be stimulating or inhibiting the physiological process.
DestructionEnzymes are mostly denatured due to changes in pH or temperatureHormones are intentionally destroyed by the body process as a part of the regulation of stimulus.
Diseases Mostly enzyme deficiency can case diseases. The diseases are less severe comparatively. Hormonal diseases can be due to both aspects. That is a decrease in secretion or an increase in secretion leads to diseases. For example hypo and hyperthyroidism.
These hormonal diseases are quite severe.
Interdependency Enzymes are in work after getting message from hormones They convey messages and get destroyed due to the presence of enzymes.
Variation with age They are same and do not change with age drastically. They tend to change with age. As the age grows some hormones start to appear and at old age, some hormones start to disappear like in menopause.

Thus enzymes and hormones function and features differ from each other. But both of them are essential to the body and should not be neglected if there are disturbances.

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