Importance of enzymes.
Enzymes are of great biological importance and are of great help in the diagnosis of certain diseases. Some example is, alkaline phosphate is raised in rickets and obstructive jaundice, lactic dehydrogenase or LDH-1 is raised in heart diseases. Many have proved very useful as drugs. e.g.; thrombin is helped locally to stop bleeding. Many enzymes help for cancer treatment, e.g., L-asparaginase has proved very valuable in the treatment of blood cancer in children.
Nucleic acids were first demonstrated in the nuclei of pus cells in 1868 and in sperm heads in 1872 by Friedrik Miescher. They are present in every living cell as well as in viruses and have been found to be the essential components of the genes. They contain in their structure the blue-prints for the normal growth and development of each and every living organism. The nucleic acids are responsible for the two fundamental functions which are common to all living organisms, these are (a) their ability to reproduce, store and transmit genetic information and (b) to undergo mutation.
Two types of nucleic acids have been discovered, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). In the body nucleic acids occur as part of the conjugated proteins called nucleoproteins. The nucleic acids direct the synthesis of proteins. Cancer research involves an extensive study of nucleic acid.