20 Difference between Enzymes and Hormones (With Table)

The human body experiences a lot of biological functions to enhance survival. These functions are both autonomic and physiological in nature. 

There are several chemicals in the body that facilitate biological functions. Some of the key examples are enzymes and hormones. 

Research shows that both enzymes and hormones are bio-genic substances. These substances are produced in living organisms. But their function, formation, secretion, and purpose vary in both plants and animals.

So, what is the main difference between enzymes and hormones? The former act as a catalyst for a reaction whereas the latter act as messengers that trigger various functions in the body.

This article provides further differences between enzymes and hormones in a tabular form. Take the time to read through it and also learn more about their similarities and examples. 

You May Also Like: Difference between Endonuclease and Exonuclease

Comparison Table (Enzymes Vs Hormones)

Basic Terms Enzymes Hormones
Nature of Occurrence Protein in nature except for ribozyme Derivatives of proteins, amino acids, and steroids.
Molecular Weight Higher Lower
Function Speed up the rate of chemical reaction in the body Provide signals to the cell to perform certain functions.
Transportation Act on the place where they are secreted. Are carried through the blood to other parts of the body where the cell needs the signal to function.
Diffusibility Non-diffusable via the cell membrane Are diffusible through the cell membrane
Action Perform their duties in the place where they are secreted. Are transported via the blood to perform their duties somewhere else.
Origin Exocrine glands Endocrine glands
Factors Influencing their performance pH and Temperature Not affected by pH and temperatures
Metabolic activities Take part in metabolic reaction Control metabolic activities
Effect of Age No effect Affected by changes in age
Dependency Depend on hormones to function Does not depend on enzymes
Diseases Few diseases related to enzyme insufficiency The hormonal disorder is quite common.
Utility Can be reused since they do not undergo changes during the reaction It cannot be reused since they are destroyed at the end of the reaction.
Examples Oxidoreductase, Transferase, Hydrolase Insulin, Glucagon, Thyroid

What Are Enzymes?

Enzymes are chemical compounds that speed up the rate of a biological reaction without undergoing any changes.

These chemical catalysts are both present in plants and animals. They are secreted by certain glands to speed up the rate of metabolic reaction.

All enzymes are protein in nature except the Ribozyme. These chemical compounds are used in commercial activities such as food processing, medicines, fermentation process, baking, and textile as well as preservatives.

Enzymes are classified into six major classes depending on the reaction activities. These classes are Ligases, Oxidoreductase, Hydrolases, Isomerase, Transferase, and Lyases.

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are molecules secreted into the blood by endocrine glands to regulate various types of reactions in the body.

The main duty of hormones in the blood is either to activate or inhibit certain reactions from occurring in the body.

Some of the common endocrine glands responsible for secreting hormones include Pancreas, Pituitary, Thyroid, Thymus, Pineal, and Adrenal.

Hormones can be synthesized through Recombinant DNA technology which is known for increasing the height of a person.

Reproduction, homeostasis, metabolic reaction, regeneration, maturity, growth, and morphogenic are some of the activities carried out by hormones in the body.

Differences Between Enzymes and Hormones 

  1. Enzymes are protein in nature except for ribozyme whereas hormones are derivatives of proteins, amino acids, and steroids.
  2. Enzymes have a higher molecular weight when compared to hormones.
  3. Hormones are diffusible through the cell membrane while enzymes are not diffusible.
  4. Enzymes perform their task from the place they originated from whereas hormones are transported to the targeted cell.
  5. Enzymes take part in metabolic activities while hormones help to regulate metabolic activities.
  6. Enzymes depend on hormones to perform their duties while hormones do not depend on anything.
  7. Dysfunction of hormones results in hormonal disorder which is common among many people while the enzyme does not result in anything.
  8. Enzymes are not affected by factors like age but hormones tend to be affected by change during their production.
  9. Examples of enzymes are Hydrolases, oxidases, and isomerase. Examples of hormones are Oxytocin, cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen in animals and abscisic acid, cytokines, and gibberellins in plants.
  10. Enzymes are less affected by diseases. Hormones are relatively affected by diseases and disorders. 
  11. Enzymes do not change with age. Hormones are susceptible to changes with age. 
  12. Enzymes have limited functions. Hormones have diverse functions to control the body. 
  13. Enzymes are controlled by specific inhibitors. Hormones are controlled by special inhibitors. 
  14. Enzymes do not regulate morphogenesis. Hormones regulate morphogenesis.
  15. Enzymes take part in metabolic functions. Hormones are used in metabolic functions. 
  16. Enzymes are biological catalysts. Hormones are not biological catalysts. 
  17. Enzymes attack substrates. Hormones attack cells or tissues. 
  18. Hormones are dependent on positive and negative feedback mechanisms. Enzymes are dependent on the substrate present. 
  19. Enzymes are produced as a result of stimulations. Hormones act as stimulating agents. 
  20. Enzyme catalytic reaction is reversible. Hormones controlled reaction is not reversible. 

Similarities between Enzymes and Hormones

  1. Both are essentially chemical compounds needed in the body
  2. Both are regulatory in function
  3. Both are specific in their work
  4. Both are quite important in the body

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Hormone An Enzyme?

No. Hormones are not the catalyst. They are responsible for the performance of activity at some distance away from the site of origin.

  • Are Enzymes and Hormones Proteins?

Yes. Insulin is a protein hormone that helps to regulate the blood glucose level whereas enzymes are conjugated proteins.

  • Is Renin a Hormone or Enzyme?

Enzyme. It is also known as angiotensinogenase which is an aspartic protease protein.

You May Also Like:


Both enzymes and hormones are biochemical compounds that are quite essential in the body. Their functions tend to be quite different and there are a lot of differences between them as stated above. The dysfunction of these biochemicals tends to affect the whole system of the body.

More Sources and References 

  1. Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) Test. Healthline

  2. Angiotensin. Wikipedia

  3. Insulin. Wikipedia 

Leave a Comment