How Enzymes Work
In Different Environments
By Sarah Smith
October 20, 2011
Peroxidase is an enzyme found in potatoes that catalyzes the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, into O2 gas and water. We examined the different pH environments that can affect the enzyme activity during the breakdown of H2O2. In order to do this, we added different levels of pH, low, medium, and high, into different test tubes with the enzyme and H2O2, and we then inverted the tube. The amount of O2 gas produced was then measured and recorded. The result was that the higher pH produced more gas, followed by medium pH, then low pH. The enzymes were more active in the pH of about 10. It increased the enzyme activity allowing more O2 to be produced from the breakdown of the hydrogen peroxide.
In this lab we explore an enzymes activity and how it can be affected by changes to its environment. An enzyme is a protein and is a catalyst to chemical reactions (Raven, 2011). It helps accelerate reactions by lowering the activation energy, which is needed for reactions in cells to progress at a higher rate (Kaiser, 2001). Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy needed for a chemical reaction to occur, yielding products from a given set of reactants. Products are results of an enzyme cleaving to a specific substrate, by means of an induced fit. The induced fit is located at the active site of the enzyme or region of the enzyme where the substrate is bound. The substrate is the reactant within the reaction that fits with the enzyme like a key into a lock. Once the substrate enters the enzyme’s active site the enzyme can flexibly change shape to more snugly bind, via the induced fit, to form an enzyme-substrate complex. The substrate is then metabolized or broken down, resulting in a product, which can be utilized to energize cells. Once the product is released from the active site the enzyme returns to...
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