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Enzymes Essay

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Below is an essay on "Enzymes" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

This assignment aims to explain the structure of enzymes and discuss the role of enzymes in metabolic reactions.   In order to do this, it is important to explain how enzymes work and what enzymes do.
Enzymes are complex chemicals that control reactions in living cells, which are not changed in reactions, therefore, can be reused. They are biological catalysts that speed up reactions that would otherwise too slow to be any use to the organism (Boyle & Senior, 2002 P; 86). Enzymes are globular protein molecules that have a complex tertiary structure in which polypeptides are folded around each other to form a roughly spherical or globular shape (Boyle & Senior, 2002 P; 87). Enzymes have a fixed structure this is crucial in ensuring the enzyme functions correctly; an altered shape could affect the active site, therefore, affecting the way the enzyme functions.   The active site is the particular part of the protein which is responsible for the metabolism of the substrate. The substance which the enzyme reacts with is known as the substrate, the substrate and enzyme are linked into an enzyme substrate complex until the reaction is complete. Once the reaction has finished the products are released and more substrate links to the active site. This process occurs quickly and is called the lock and key mechanism, in which the substrate matches to an active site on the surface of the enzyme (see appendix 1) (Roberts, Reiss & Monger, 2000 P; 128). However current theory suggests that the process may be slightly more complex and the substrate may actually cause the active site to change shape to improve the fit; this is called the induced fit mechanism; this is when the substrate and enzyme bind together and causes the active site to take up its fully complementary shape (see appendix 2).
Energy is required for chemical reactions to take place; this energy is called the activation energy of the reaction.   Enzymes reduce the activation energy of a reaction;...

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