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Typically a hydrolytic protein-based catalyst that is involved in decreasing the size as well as changing the chemical characteristics of nutrients so that they can be transported across cell membranes.
Digestive enzymes can act either extracellularly or, in the case of phagocytosis or pinocytosis, instead within vesicles, i.e., as associated with lysosomes. See also digestion. The process of transportation of the digested nutrients across a membrane is called absorption.
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