Enzymes

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Enzymes are proteins or RNA, ribonucleic acid. An enzyme speeds up a chemical reaction. Since the enzyme is not changed by speeding up a chemical reaction, the enzyme can speed up reactions again and again. In a process called catalysis, an enzyme takes what would have been a relatively slow reaction, and makes it faster than the reaction would have been without the enzyme. Enzymes also take the activation energy, which is the energy needed to start reactions, and shortens it. With the decrease in the amount of activation energy needed, reactions could occur more often, and less energy would be needed to begin each reaction. When an enzyme takes a substrate, which is a specific reactant, it changes the substrate in a specific way (Unity and Diversity 82). The active site on the enzyme is a specific shape, so the enzyme can only change certain substrates, the ones that fit into the enzyme’s activation site like a piece in a puzzle. There are several things that can affect the function of an enzyme: the temperature, pH level, and salinity of the environment. The temperature affects an enzyme by increasing the molecular motion by increasing the amount of free energy that is available. The more free energy that there is, the reaction is closer to its activation energy (Unity and Diversity 83). The enzyme can only work in a certain temperature range, and if the temperature gets too high, the enzyme denatures, loses its shape, and therefore its function because its shape determines the function. Just like the temperature, an enzyme can only work in a certain range of pH level. Different enzymes work in different pH levels. If, for example, if an enzyme that works in a pH level of one to three, as the pH level rises the enzyme begins ... ... middle of paper ... ...would be taking place more often and more oxidization of the enzyme by hydrogen peroxide as well. Three drops of enzyme being added to the solution the enzyme activity would be higher than that of two drops or one drop of enzyme in the solution. The activity would be higher because there are more enzymes in the solution so there would be more movement of the enzymes in the solution because they would be bouncing off of each other. The structure of the enzyme would change because the oxidation process, a molecule losing an electron, therefore the function of the enzyme would change because the structure determines the function. So if the amount of enzyme increases or decreases, then the rate of enzyme activity will increase or decrease as well, meaning as the amount of enzyme goes up so will the activity, and if the amount of enzyme goes down so will the activity.

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