Zinc in its 2+ oxidation state is an essential metal ion for life.Zn2+ is found bound to many proteins that are involved inbiological processes, but unfortunately Zn2+ is hard to detectby common chemical methods. Therefore, scientists who areinterested in studying Zn2+-containing proteins frequentlysubstitute Cd2+ for Zn2+, since Cd2+ is easier to detect. (a) Onthe basis of the properties of the elements and ions discussedin this chapter and their positions in the periodic table, describethe pros and cons of using Cd2+ as a Zn2+ substitute.(b) Proteins that speed up (catalyze) chemical reactions arecalled enzymes. Many enzymes are required for proper metabolicreactions in the body. One problem with using Cd2+to replace Zn2+ in enzymes is that Cd2+ substitution can decreaseor even eliminate enzymatic activity. Can you suggest a different metal ion that might replace Zn2+ in enzymes insteadof Cd2+? Justify your answer.

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Asked Feb 12, 2020
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Zinc in its 2+ oxidation state is an essential metal ion for life.
Zn2+ is found bound to many proteins that are involved in
biological processes, but unfortunately Zn2+ is hard to detect
by common chemical methods. Therefore, scientists who are
interested in studying Zn2+-containing proteins frequently
substitute Cd2+ for Zn2+, since Cd2+ is easier to detect. (a) On
the basis of the properties of the elements and ions discussed
in this chapter and their positions in the periodic table, describe
the pros and cons of using Cd2+ as a Zn2+ substitute.
(b) Proteins that speed up (catalyze) chemical reactions are
called enzymes. Many enzymes are required for proper metabolic
reactions in the body. One problem with using Cd2+
to replace Zn2+ in enzymes is that Cd2+ substitution can decrease
or even eliminate enzymatic activity. Can you suggest a different metal ion that might replace Zn2+ in enzymes instead
of Cd2+? Justify your answer.

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Expert Answer

Step 1

The atomic number of zinc is 30 and the atomic number of cadmium is 48 both the elements belong to group 12 of the periodic table. Cadmium is present just below to zinc in the periodic table and both have same valence electronic configuration. Therefore, cadmium element resembles much more to zinc and also show similar properties as that of zinc.

Pros of using Cd2+ as substitute are shown below,

Step 2

Zn2+ ion found a wide application in the biological system. It is involved in catalytic process known as enzymes. But unfortunately, Zn2+ ions are hard to detect by common chemical methods. Therefore, to overcome this problem, Cd2+ ions are used as a substitute for Zn2+ ions because they are easy to detect and shows similar properties as that of Zn2+ ions.

Cons of using Cd2+ as substitute ...

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