There is present in the seeds an enzyme which rapidly decomposes the oil if the seeds are crushed and kept, setting free a fatty acid and glycerin.
Lea and Miguel further proved that the hydrolysis is due to an enzyme - urase - separable with difficulty from the bacteria concerned.
Their mode of action is similar to that of ordinary mechanical catalytic agents, such as finely divided platinum (see Bayliss, The Nature of Enzyme Action, and J.
Dubois (1886), who considers that the luminosity is due to the influence of an enzyme in the cells of the organ upon a special substance in the blood.
Of especial note is the transformation of maltose by maltase into glucose, and of cane sugar by invertase into a mixture of glucose and fructose (invert sugar); other instances are: lactose by lactase into galactose and glucose; trehalose by trehalase into glucose; melibiose by melibiase into galactose and glucose; and of melizitose by melizitase into touranose and glucose, touranose yielding glucose also when acted upon by the enzyme touranase.
But this has not been proved, and hitherto no enzyme has been separated from a pathogenic bacterium capable of forming, by digestive or other action, the toxic bodies from proteids outside the body.
In the case of diphtheria Sidney Martin obtained toxic albumoses in the spleen, which he considered were due to the digestive action of an enzyme formed by the bacillus in the membrane and absorbed into the circulation.
On a successful wither the amount of the tea ferment or enzyme is dependent.
The irritation set up by the hatching egg and its resulting larva appears to be the stimulus to development, and net a poison or enzyme injected by the insect.
Considerable differences occur in these latter respects, however, and interesting results were obtained by Beyerinck with mixtures of species possessing different powers of enzyme action as regards carbohydrates.