Enzymes are used in chemical reactions to speed up the reaction that is occurring and are biological catalysts. Enzymes can participate in a chemical reaction without being used up or destroyed, in normal conditions (Morris, Hartl, Knoll, & Lue, 2013). Although enzymes can go from one chemical reaction to another, only certain substrates, or reactants, can be paired with certain enzymes such as peroxidase to hydrogen peroxide as performed in Lab 20. These substrates bind to small caverns in the enzymes called active sites, and the chemical reaction begins (Morris et al., 2013).
Both the pH of solutions and substrate concentration play a role in enzyme structure and function. Enzyme function and the amount of substrate used are directly proportional. As the amount of substrate included in the chemical reaction increases, the reaction speed, provided by the enzyme, will increase as well (Leady, 2015). It is ideal for there to be an excess amount of reactant for the enzyme to react with in the chemical reaction. The more substrate added, the faster the reaction will take place – up to a specific point. Once the enzyme reaches the optimal substrate concentration, the enzyme cannot make the reaction go any faster; the same concept applies to the pH balance as well (Morris et al., 2013).
The pH in the solution containing the enzyme and substrate affects the polypeptide bonds that form the enzyme (Leady, 2015). The enzyme can be altered if the solution is too acidic or basic, which breaks down the bonds of the enzyme. The enzyme needs to be in a solution that is made up of the ideal pH balance for the specific enzyme. The optimal pH differs for each enzyme (Brooklyn College). Once the optimal condition is reached, wheth...
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...r end of the spectrum pepsin, found in stomach acid, has an optimum that functions the best between 1.5 and 1.6 pH (Worthington Biochemical Corporation). The enzyme peroxidase is between the two enzymes, lactase and pepsin; all three of these enzymes have an optimal pH that is in the acidic end of the spectrum.
A weakness in the experimental design was suggesting one gram of turnip be used instead of two grams. One gram of turnip is not enough to make a usable enzyme extract. Two grams of turnip is a better sample to use since it ensures a proper amount of peroxidase extract. The time constraint was a problem in the experiment, not allowing for individual groups to all use the spectrophotometer separately. It was also difficult getting the test tube into the spectrophotometer quickly because of the enzyme. Otherwise, there weren’t any problems with the experiment.
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