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    which statement about enzymes is true? an enzyme functions to decrease the rate of a chemical reaction. enzymes are proteins that function as catalysts in nonliving things. each enzyme can catalyze many different biochemical reactions. enzymes and substrates fit together like a lock and key.


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    Which statement about enzymes is true?

    An enzyme functions to decrease the rate of a chemical reaction.

    Enzymes are proteins that function as catalysts in nonliving things.

    Each enzyme can catalyze many different biochemical reactions.

    Enzymes and substrates fit together like a lock and key.

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    Energy, Enzymes, and Catalysis Problem Set

    Energy, Enzymes, and Catalysis Problem Set

    Problem 1 Tutorial: Features of enzyme catalyzed reactions.

    Which statement about enzyme catalyzed reactions is NOT true?

    A. enzymes form complexes with their substrates.B. enzymes lower the activation energy for chemical reactions.C. enzymes change the Keq for chemical reactions.D. many enzymes change shape slightly when substrate binds.E. reactions occur at the "active site" of enzymes, where a precise 3D orientation of amino acids is an important feature of catalysis.

    Features of Enzyme Catalyzed Reactions

    Enzymes are biological catalysts. Catalysts lower the activation energy for reactions. The lower the activation energy for a reaction, the faster the rate. Thus enzymes speed up reactions by lowering activation energy. Many enzymes change shape when substrates bind. This is termed "induced fit", meaning that the precise orientation of the enzyme required for catalytic activity can be induced by the binding of the substrate.

    Enzymes have active sites. The enzyme active site is the location on the enzyme surface where substrates bind, and where the chemical reaction catalyzed by the enzyme occurs. There is a precise substrate interaction that occurs at the active site stabilized by numerous weak interactions (hydrogen bonds, electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic contacts, and van der Waals forces).

    Enzymes form complexes with their substrates. The binding of a substrate to an enzyme active site is termed the "enzyme-substrate complex." A generic equation for complex formation is as follows:

    Enzymes do not:

    Change the equilibrium constant for a reaction. Keq depends only on the difference in energy level between reactants and products.

    Change ΔG for a reaction. As shown in the graphs above, enzymes only lower activation energy, but do not change the difference in energy levels between reactants and products.

    Convert a nonspontaneous reaction into a spontaneous reaction.

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    Revised: October 2004

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    Enzymes and the active site (article)

    Enzymes as biological catalysts, activation energy, the active site, and environmental effects on enzyme activity.

    Enzyme structure and catalysis

    Enzymes and the active site

    Enzymes as biological catalysts, activation energy, the active site, and environmental effects on enzyme activity.

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    As a kid, I wore glasses and desperately wanted a pair of contact lenses. When I was finally allowed to get contacts, part of the deal was that I had to take very, very good care of them, which meant washing them with cleaner every day, storing them in a sterile solution, and, once a week, adding a few drops of something called “enzymatic cleaner.” I didn’t know exactly what “enzymatic cleaner” meant, but I did learn that if you forgot you’d added it and accidentally put your contacts in your eyes without washing them, you were going to have burning eyes for a good fifteen minutes.

    As I would later learn, all that “enzymatic” meant was that the cleaner contained one or more enzymes, proteins that catalyzed particular chemical reactions – in this case, reactions that broke down the film of eye goo that accumulated on my contacts after a week of use. (Presumably, the reason it stung when I got it in my eyes was that the enzymes would also happily break down eye goo in an intact eye.) In this article, we’ll look in greater depth at what an enzyme is and how it catalyzes a particular chemical reaction.

    Enzymes and activation energy

    A substance that speeds up a chemical reaction—without being a reactant—is called a catalyst. The catalysts for biochemical reactions that happen in living organisms are called enzymes. Enzymes are usually proteins, though some ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules act as enzymes too.

    Enzymes perform the critical task of lowering a reaction's activation energy—that is, the amount of energy that must be put in for the reaction to begin. Enzymes work by binding to reactant molecules and holding them in such a way that the chemical bond-breaking and bond-forming processes take place more readily.

    Reaction coordinate diagram showing the course of a reaction with and without a catalyst. With the catalyst, the activation energy is lower than without. However, the catalyst does not change the ∆G for the reaction.

    _Image modified from "Potential, kinetic, free, and activation energy: Figure 5," by OpenStax College, Biology, CC BY 3.0._

    To clarify one important point, enzymes don’t change a reaction’s ∆G value. That is, they don’t change whether a reaction is energy-releasing or energy-absorbing overall. That's because enzymes don’t affect the free energy of the reactants or products.

    Instead, enzymes lower the energy of the transition state, an unstable state that products must pass through in order to become reactants. The transition state is at the top of the energy "hill" in the diagram above.

    Active sites and substrate specificity

    To catalyze a reaction, an enzyme will grab on (bind) to one or more reactant molecules. These molecules are the enzyme's substrates.

    In some reactions, one substrate is broken down into multiple products. In others, two substrates come together to create one larger molecule or to swap pieces. In fact, whatever type of biological reaction you can think of, there is probably an enzyme to speed it up!

    The part of the enzyme where the substrate binds is called the active site (since that’s where the catalytic “action” happens).

    A substrate enters the active site of the enzyme. This forms the enzyme-substrate complex.The reaction then occurs, converting the substrate into products and forming an enzyme products complex. The products then leave the active site of the enzyme.

    Image modified from "Enzymes: Figure 2," by OpenStax College, Biology, CC BY 3.0.

    Proteins are made of units called amino acids, and in enzymes that are proteins, the active site gets its properties from the amino acids it's built out of. These amino acids may have side chains that are large or small, acidic or basic, hydrophilic or hydrophobic.

    The set of amino acids found in the active site, along with their positions in 3D space, give the active site a very specific size, shape, and chemical behavior. Thanks to these amino acids, an enzyme's active site is uniquely suited to bind to a particular target—the enzyme's substrate or substrates—and help them undergo a chemical reaction.

    [How specific is the matching between enzyme and substrate?]

    Environmental effects on enzyme function

    Because active sites are finely tuned to help a chemical reaction happen, they can be very sensitive to changes in the enzyme’s environment. Factors that may affect the active site and enzyme function include:

    Temperature. A higher temperature generally makes for higher rates of reaction, enzyme-catalyzed or otherwise. However, either increasing or decreasing the temperature outside of a tolerable range can affect chemical bonds in the active site, making them less well-suited to bind substrates. Very high temperatures (for animal enzymes, above

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