How Hydrogen Peroxide Affects the Rate of Reaction of the Enzyme Catalase

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How Hydrogen Peroxide Affects the Rate of Reaction of the Enzyme Catalase Introduction: Catalase, like all enzymes, is made up of protein molecules. It can be found in the cytoplasm of living tissue. It speeds up the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide, a metabolic waste product, into water and oxygen that can safely be removed from the cell. The type of reaction involved is known as a catabolic reaction (i.e. substrate broken down.)This is simply because the substrate enters the active site and is broken down, and leaves as 2 separate products, in this case water and oxygen: 2H2O2> 2H20 + O2 [IMAGE] Like all enzymes, the rate at which the enzyme works is affected by many variables. These are: 1. Temperature: As increase in temperature and therefore heat energy reaching the enzymes and substrate molecules causes them to increase random movement. The more heat energy the more the molecules move and so collide more often. The more collisions between molecules the greater chance there is that the substrates will fit into the active site. Therefore there is an increase in rate of reaction. However if the temperature continues to increase above the optimum temperature of the enzyme (what it works best at) the polypeptide bonds that are responsible for the specific shape of the active site, start to break. This means that the specific shape of the active site starts to distort. The active sight can become permanently damaged and at this point the enzyme is said to be denatured. The substrates will no loner fit into the active sights and so a reaction does not take place. 2. PH Value: Enzymes also have an optimum PH value at which they work best.
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