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LET'S TALK LIFE-SCIENCE BIOCHEMISTRY

Suraj Prakash Sharma | Ekta Chotia

ENZYMES
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7.8.         Mechanism of lowering of activation energy by enzyme

Now LET'S TALK about how enzymes lower the activation energy. There are a number of mechanisms by which this activation energy of catalyzed reaction is  decreased. The enzyme binds with substrate in correct orientation, bring the substrates closer to each other. In this way the binding energy between enzyme and substrate is used to reduce the activation energy. After binding with substrate/substrates enzymes bring them in proper orientation and formed product.

d-            Transition state – It is the most unstable state of substrate and it has highest level of energy which is needed to break the bond for a particular reaction without enzymes and is able to convert into products.

An energy diagram helps to understand what is meant by "lowering the activation energy.  An activation energy is shown much less than the energy required for achieving the unanalyzed transition state.

7.9.         Enzyme substrate complex models

7.9.1.     Lock and key model : It was proposed by Emil Fischer, according to this model each enzyme have a rigid active site which is specific for a substrate. Substrate fits into the active site of an enzyme as the key fits into the lock, thus called as lock and key model.

7.9.2.     Induced fit model : It was proposed by Koshland, according to this model active site of enzyme are flexible they can be change according to the shape of the substrate that is active site does not possess a rigid structure.

7.10.      Factors that Affect the Rate of Enzyme Reactions

7.10.1.   Temperature:

Enzymes function optimally at a particular temperatures. As temperature increases, kinetic energy increases and collision increase and more molecules now have sufficient energy to overcome the activation energy. The enzyme reaction rate increases with an increase in temperature but as the temperature rises above optimum temperature, the denaturation of enzyme starts. Once it is denatured, the enzyme’s three dimensional structure is lost. The enzyme’s shape changes, therefore the three dimensional shape of its active site changes as it cannot bind to the substrate anymore and the enzyme cannot function furthermore. Therefore, at higher temperatures the enzyme’s reaction rate decreases.

The optimal temperature for an enzyme is the temperature at which the enzyme “works best” and the rate of chemical reaction is highest. The “optimal temperature” for most of the enzymes in the body is 98.6 degrees F (also known as ~37 degrees C).

The increase in rate with temperature can be quantified as the Q10, which is the relative increase for a 10°C rise in temperature. Q10 is usually around two for enzyme-catalysed reactions (i.e. the rate doubles every 10°C) and usually less than two for non-enzyme reactions.

7.10.2.   Effect of pH

Enzymes function optimally at a certain pH. They are extremely sensitive to changes in acidity and works within quite narrow pH range. Changes in pH can make new bonds with substrate and break the existing bond within the enzyme. This leads to change the shape of the enzyme. If the pH is too low (too acidic) or too high (too basic), the enzyme becomes denatured. Enzymes is made up of amino acid. The charge on protein depends upon pH. Change in pH change the charge on enzyme which affects its binding with substrate and also changes the existing three dimensional structure of enzyme. The chemical bonds within the enzyme are rearranged. As the enzyme’s shape changes, the three dimensional shape of its active site changes and the active site cannot bind to the substrate anymore. Thus, the enzyme cannot function anymore. The “optimal pH” for most of the enzymes in the body is ~pH7.4. However there are exceptions, such as the digestive enzymes of human stomach function at pH of 3-4.

7.10.3.   Effect of enzyme concentration

When substrate [S] is not limiting then under these conditions an increase in enzyme [E] has a direct effect on the rate of reaction. A plot of rate of reaction [v] versus [E] results a straight line.

7.10.4.   Substrate concentration :

The rate of reaction is also depended upon substrate concentration. However it depends upon the total number of active site present on enzyme. At a particular enzyme concentration increase in the substrate concentration increase the rate of reaction in the begining but once all the active site of a given enzymes is saturated by substrate there is no further increase in the rate of reaction. The maximum rate of reaction is known as Vmax. i.e. the rate of reaction is saturated as there is no change in the rate of reaction on further increase in substrate concentration. The Vmax is directly proportional to the total enzyme concentration (E).

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