Enzymes are large biological molecules responsible for the thousands of metabolic processes that sustain life. They are highly selective catalysts, greatly accelerating both the rate and specificity of metabolic reactions, from the digestion to the synthesis of DNA.
Some enzymes do not need any additional components to show full activity. However, others require non-protein molecules called cofactors to be bound for activity.
A cofactor is a non-protein chemical compound that is required for the protein’s biological activity. These proteins are commonly enzymes, and co-factors can be considered ‘helper molecules ‘that assist in biochemical transformations.
An inactive enzyme, without the co-factor is called an apoenzyme, while the complete enzyme with a cofactor is the holoenzyme.