What state of matter are phosphomonoesterases? I am not a biochemist; while I've found various lists of such enzymes, and plenty of (to me) barely comprehensible articles describing their production, it's not clear to me whether the final product in isolation is a solid, liquid, or gas.

More generally, is there some reference work in which one can look up the state of matter (at standard temperature and pressure) for a given chemical?


2 Answers 2


Enzymes are very, very large in comparison to the typical molecules you encounter in chemistry (excluding any polymers). A 10 kD protein is considered to be small, and there are proteins of several hundred kD.

If you remove all the water from a typical protein you end up with a solid. But for most enzymes this would be an irreversible step, and they would lose their activity.

Usually enzymes are kept in aqueous solution, often with some glycerol or other cryoprotectants, and frozen.

Strictly speaking, they would probably be solid, but likely inactive in that form so I'm not sure if it counts. The relevant form of an enzyme is dissolved in water.


Phosphomonoesterases are proteins, i.e. long polymer chains of amino acid monomers. When they are active in living cells they are dissolved in an aqueous solution (or found in lipid membranes, which is sorta like a 2D liquid). You can get purified proteins in solution with a variety of techniques, and if you were to evaporate away all the water you would get dried protein solid. Most all biopolymers are solids if you remove the water the are naturally found in. You never have pure protein liquids or protein gasses, if you heated the solids I think you would break down the polymers into the constituent monomers long before you got a proper liquid.


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