Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305389892

Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305389892


Chapter 2, Problem 14TYK
Textbook Problem

Discuss Concepts You are studying a chemical reaction accelerated by an enzyme. H+ forms during the reaction, but the enzyme’s activity is lost at low pH. What could you include in the reaction mix to keep the enzyme’s activity at high levels? Explain how your suggestion might solve the problem.

Expert Solution
Summary Introduction

To explain:

The substance that can be added to the reaction mixture to maintain a high activity of the enzyme, with the reason for the same.


The acidic or basic character is expressed in terms of pH (potential of hydrogen). It is a negative logarithm of the concentration of H+. A solution is neutral if its pH is 7, basic if it is greater than 7, and acidic if it is less than 7. The maintenance of pH is critical to living organisms because changes in pH bring about changes in the ionic states of biomolecules.

Explanation of Solution

All the enzymes have an optimum pH and the temperature on which they can perform their function efficiently. These get denatured when the pH is changed and hence, their activity decreases. The pH decreases as the reaction involves the release of a proton. This decrease in pH results in the disruption of tertiary structure because of which the activity is decreased...

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