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What are 'Enzymes'?

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Introduction

Enzymes Enzymes are proteins and are biological catalysts. They speed up chemical reactions that happen within living things. They are very efficient at doing their job. To give you an idea of efficiency one catalase molecule can break six million hydrogen peroxide molecules into harmless water and oxygen per minute. There are two types of enzymes extracellular enzymes and intracellular enzymes. Extracellular enzymes are made inside cells, once formed they may move out and do its job outside of the cell an example of extracellular enzymes is the enzymes in the digestive system. ...read more.

Middle

The substance that the enzyme acts on (Maltose) is called the substrate. The new substance(s) formed is called the product(s). This reaction, along with many metabolic reactions, is reversible meaning maltose can become glucose or glucose can become maltose. They way the reactions turns depends on the proportions of glucose to maltose. If there is a lot of maltose and little glucose then the reaction will be as above but if there is less maltose than glucose then it will go from right to left. ...read more.

Conclusion

The enzyme the makes the reactions happen. After that the product leaves. The active site of a specific enzyme has a particular shape into which only one type of substrate will fit. This is why enzymes are specific to their action. When a enzyme is denatured (a change in heat) the shape of the active site changes so that the substrate doesn't a change in pH has the same effect. ...read more.

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