Enzymes are specialized proteins that speed up chemical reactions (biological catalysts) Without enzymes, cellular chemical reactions could not occur fast enough to maintain life.
– enzyme binds to the reactants, called the substrate(s), of a chemical reaction
– the substrate joins with the enzyme at the enzymes active site forming an enzyme-substrate complex
– after the enzyme-substrate complex forms the enzyme-catalyzed reaction occurs
– enzyme releases the product(s) and the enzyme is ready to bind to more substrate
– enzymes are reusable
– enzymes are specific to their particular substrate(s) as their active sites are designed to precisely fit and accept the substrate molecules
How do Enzymes speed up chemical reactions?
– lower the amount of energy that must be supplied for the reaction to occur (activiation energy)
Thousands of different chemical reactions must occur in cells to make life possible.
Each reaction requires its own specialized enzyme in order to proceed efficiently.
Ex. Reactions that Require Enzymes: dehydration synthesis, hydrolysis, digestion of food, cellular respiration, protein synthesis, photosynthesis and many more