Factors Influencing Enzyme Activity

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In this laboratory exercise we studied enzyme catalase, which accelerates the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. The purpose was to isolate catalase and measure the rate of activity under different conditions. The laboratory was also conducted in association with a second laboratory that measured the effects of an inhibitor on the enzymes. Changes in temperature and pH along with Substrate Concentration and Enzyme Concentration were the conditions tested in the experiment. Each lab was assigned to a group A, B, C and D in our class performed this experiment. The data presented in this report will reflect the average rates of change in O2 ml/min of our class results. In the later discussion sections, it will become obvious that human error was the deciding factor in the data collection. Introduction

In each individual cell of a human there are many chemical reactions taking place, performing necessary functions for being a large, complex, multicellular organism. This is pretty easy to understand. How do these reactions happen is not so easy to understand. Chemical reactions involve the breaking and reforming of chemical bonds between molecules (substrate(s) of the reaction), which are transformed into different molecules (product(s) of the reaction). Chemical reactions can occur spontaneously (without added energy or intervention), and a lot of the chemical reactions necessary for life processes are spontaneous; some however, are not. Metabolic pathways are processes which involve many chemical reactions that occur in a specific order. For example, to get energy out of a molecule of glucose, a series of reactions must take place in a specific order to break the bonds between the carbons of the glucose molecule. In addition, we have to rely on a series of chemical reactions that break down stored glycogen into glucose molecules to have glucose molecules in the first place. If we had to rely on these reactions to take place spontaneously, we would have to wait a very long time we probably wouldn't be here. Enzymes catalyze chemical reactions so that they occur in a timely and sequential manner to produce a product. Enzymes are biological catalysts. They help to increase the rate of chemical reactions. Enzymes are most often proteins and their three-dimensional shape is important to their catalytic activity. Because of their 3-D shape, enzymes are highly specific for the substrates that they will act upon. So any one "function", such as getting energy from a glucose molecule, actually involves many reactions, each with a specific enzyme. Enzyme activity is influenced by many factors. We (the class) examined some of the major factors, which influence the activity of an enzyme called catalase. Catalase is an enzyme that is found in many cells. The highest levels of catalase are in the liver because the liver often functions to break down toxins present in the blood. Catalase catalyzes the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide: Peroxides can form in the body during respiration, and are chemically reactive, which means that they can chemically modify (and thus render useless) other biological molecules. In this lab we studied; the influence of catalase concentration on enzyme activity, the influence of Substrate concentration on enzyme activity, the influence of pH on catalase activity and the influence of temperature on catalase activity.

This lab experiment was done in four different procedures labeled A, B, C and D we worked as a group of 4 with our lab partners at our tables to perform the experiments. Each group was assigned one of the specific experiments in the lab. We recorded our results on the on the board so we were able to get the data for each experiment performed. Each group had to analyze all 4 parts (A-D) of the experiments from the lab's pooled data even though each group only performed one part. The following “general” procedures were used to obtain oxygen...
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