Temperatures & Cofactors vs. Enzymatic Reactions
By: Megan Cooke
March 31, 2014
TA: Sung Park
I pledge that no unauthorized assistance has been given or received in the completion of this work. Experiments described were performed by me and/or my lab group and this write-up is entirely my own creative work.
Enzymes are specific types of protein molecules that act as catalysts of our cells. Enzymes, staying unchanged and unconsumed, speed up chemical reactions in cells by decreasing the activation energy, the energy needed for the reaction to begin. Because enzymes are not changed or consumed, they can be repeatedly recycled. Enzymes also are specific to their substrate, which is a molecule that is acted upon and altered by the enzyme. Because enzymes have such qualities, they make sure that the speed of chemical reactions is essential to maintain life.
Underneath the surface of many plants lies a small concentrations of catechol. If a plant is injured, a chemical reaction involving catechol occurs in the plant, producing a natural antiseptic. During exposure of the inside of a plant due to bruising or cutting, oxygen coming from the atmosphere will remove electrons from the unprotected catechol. During this process, a molecule of water is produced. The catechol oxidation ends with the final product, benzoquinone, which is the natural antiseptic that is known to appear as a brown-orange color of the surface of plants. The enzyme catecholase is required for this conversion of catechol to benzoquinone to occur at a fast enough rate to produce enough benzoquinone to deter pathogens. In this experiment, the enzyme catecholase and its response to energy are studied. The enzymatic reaction can be summarized as follows:
Catechol + ½ 02 Catecholase Benzoquinone + H20
The colors that are visible in certain objects are the wavelengths of light that are reflected by an object. Since Benzoquinone produces a...