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Enzymes & their Roles

Quite simply:

Enzyme + Substrate = Product

  1. The substrate (AKA reagent) binds with the enzyme’s active site to form Enzyme-Substrate complex.
  2. Enzyme reacts with substrate to produce a Product, which is then released.
  3. Product released, and enzyme ready for more substrate.

Enzymes are:

  • One of more polypeptide chains – so a protein – but that form a structure with an ‘Active Site’.
  • The active site is ‘specific’, which essentially means it only has a few substrates that will fit it, and bind with it.

Enzyme Kinetics

The rate of a reaction depends upon:

  • The ‘speed’ of a single reaction, specified as the rate constant, k
  • The number of reactions occuring, specified by the substrate concentration

We know this from our rate equation, Rate = k[Substrates].

So how do Enzymes speed up (or slow down reactions)?

Enzymes change k by decreasing the activation energy.