Lab #6: pH Effects and Enzyme Concentration on Catecholase Activity
This experiment examined the effect on how the changes in pH balance of potato juice affected the enzyme activity, structural stability and solubility.
Enzymes are macromolecules that allow chemical reactions to occur. They function as biological catalysts. A catalyst is a substance that is involved in, but not changed by or consumed in, a chemical reaction. The amount of energy required for a reaction to take place is called the activation energy. Enzymes function by lowering that activation energy. They tend to speed up the rate of the reaction. As a result of lessening the activation energy needed and speeding up the rate of the reaction, products are formed quicker. Enzymes have a special region called the active site, where they are shaped to fit with specific molecules known as substrates. As the substrate goes into the active site, the enzyme slightly changes the shape of the substrate allowing it to form a tight fit. Binding of the substrates happen at the active site, where they are then shaped to form an enzyme-substrate complex where they are then turned to and released as products. The rate of the reaction is dependent upon the concentration of the enzyme. Enzymes are sensitive to changes in pH and temperature. These factors affect the speed of the reactions, as does enzyme concentration. The enzyme catecholase and the compound catechol are found in the cells of many fruits and vegetables. The enzyme catecholase and substrate catechol separate from each other in intact cells. However, whenever the cell is damaged, they come in contact with one another which produces the formation of benzoquinone, which is a brown substance. Benzoquinone molecules bond, forming melanin, which is what you see as the dark spots on bruised fruits and vegetables. Enzymes are sensitive to changes in H+ concentration. Being most enzymes are proteins, they have a large number...
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