Enzymes Paper

2976 Words Mar 22nd, 2015 12 Pages
Determining the Production of Glucose During Changes in Temperature and pH, and Manipulation of Specificity and Cofactors
November 16, 2012

Enzymes are biological catalysts. They work by lowering the activation energy needed to initiate a chemical reaction. Enzymes work within an optimal temperature and optimal pH. Enzymes are highly specific for a single substrate. The Enzyme is usually much larger in size than the substrate it binds to. In some cases, an enzyme requires something called a cofactor to begin the chemical reaction. There were four different experiments that were executed in the enzyme lab. Experiment 7.1, the first experiment, was performed to test the effect of temperature on enzymatic
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Specificity just means that specific substrates should bind best to specific enzymes. For example the enzyme lactase should bind best to the substrate lactose, rather than lactase binding well to maltose. A Cofactor is another key component in some enzyme reactions. Cofactors are small inorganic molecules required for catalysis to occur in some reactions. Usually, cofactors are a metallic ion such as copper, zinc, iron, calcium, and so on. Cofactors may be bound tightly to the enzyme as permanent residents, or they may bind loosely and reversibly along with the substrate. A cofactor will enter the active site before the substrate and act as a helper to start the reaction. Some enzymes require the cofactor and some don’t. The enzyme used in the four different experiments was lactase. Lactase is an enzyme found in the small intestine, liver, and kidneys of mammals. Lactase binds to lactose, reducing it to the simple sugars Glucose and Galactose, which can eventually be utilized as a source of energy in cells. Lactase is an important enzyme and the absence of lactase leads to lactose intolerance. According to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, lactose intolerance is very common in adults and is rarely dangerous. About 30 million American adults have some amount of lactose intolerance by age 20 (A.D.A.M. 2012). Some symptoms include abdominal bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas, and nausea (A.D.A.M. 2012). These

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