What is an enzyme?
The proteins produced by a living body which acts as a catalyst in the metabolic activities are generally termed as enzymes. The characteristics of enzymes have the potential to affect the pace of the biochemical reactions and are very crucial in the sustenance of life. No biochemical reaction could be balanced in the biological body in the absence of the respective enzymes. Whether it is the most crucial process like digestion, or it is a simple act of excretion, the characteristics of enzymes play a large role in every human body process. In simple terms, the enzymes could be termed as biological catalysts.
We hope that you have a basic idea of what is enzyme and its significance in the human body. It is time that we should discuss deeply the role and various aspects of the characteristics of enzymes.
It is a known fact that the biological body is comprised of various inorganic ions, water, carbon, and other organic molecules. The crucial procedures in the biological body like excretions, digestion, metabolic activities, etc. are being initiated and controlled by the characteristics of enzymes. It is by the secretion of various enzymes that the intended activities in the biologically takes place effectively.
Typical characteristics of enzymes
How characteristics ofenzymes help in achieving catalytic efficiency?
Below are listed down the way in which the characteristics of enzymes help in achieving the catalytic efficiency in the biochemical reactions.
Specific characteristics ofenzymes
Enzymes won’t take part in every reaction. There is some degree of specificity where the enzymes are allowed to enhance the rate of a biochemical reaction.
Absolute Specificity: The enzyme which has the characteristic of absolute specificity would only take part in a particular reaction.
Relative Specificity: The enzyme which takes parts in the reaction with reactants having the same structural combination and structure are classified under the category of relative specificity (The compounds could be labelled as structurally similar compounds are proteases, lipases, phosphatases hydrolyze phosphate esters, and hydrolyze lipids).
Stereochemical Specificity: The enzymes coming under this category could only enter into reaction with the two specific enantiomers. The perfect example for this is the D-amino acid oxidase enzyme which only enters with the enantiomers like L-amino acids and D-amino acids.
Regulating characteristics ofenzymes
The enzymes play a major role in regulating the rate of various metabolic activities going on in a living body. Thus, it indirectly affects the output of various procedures in the living body. The living cells are comprised of a lot of compounds, and hence there is a large probability that they would react with each other. It is the presence of various enzymes that keep various components of the cell intact. The production of any particular product is regulated by the enzymes, and hence it is very crucial to sustain life.
Induced Fit Theory
The theory of Induced Fit is also termed as lock and key theory in the discipline of biology. This theory suggests that there is a certain level of flexible confirmation in the components of enzymes. The enzymes would get only active in reaction if the active sited of it adopts the complementary component. Only in such a case, the enzyme would affect the ongoing biochemical reaction.
Roughly speaking each molecule of the enzyme consists of a certainly shaped fissure. These fissures are often termed as active sites. It is in this place of the enzyme molecules where the respective reagents approach and activate it. The unique shape of active sites avoids other inappropriate reagents from activating the enzymes. The feature increases the efficiency of the enzyme molecules since it freshens up again when the reagent leaves the active sites.
Though the procedure is not as simple in the case of an allosteric enzyme. Despite an active site, there is an allosteric site in the compounds of allosteric enzymes. Whereas reagent reacts in the normal case, non-substrate molecules enter into the reaction in the allosteric enzymes. The binding process in allosteric enzymes is very complex since there are several polypeptides that could make the bond with various allosteric. The mechanics enable the enzymes to react to a specified set of compounds in the biological environment.
Various types of Inhibitors
Irreversible inhibitors: The inhibitors which bind with the enzymes and changes its composition permanently could be classified under the division of irreversible inhibitors. Such inhibitors permanently block the site of substrates and thus eliminates the catalytic power of the enzyme.
Competitive Inhibitors: The reactants try to bond to the active site of the enzyme to carry out the intended biological reaction. The inhibitors are always trying to attain stability, and hence there is a long rush among the inhibitors to connect the enzyme molecules. The molecule which approaches to the active first would make the bond with the enzyme molecules.
Uncompetitive inhibitors: The uncompetitive inhibitors help to slow down and regulate the pace of the biochemical reaction in the body. The uncompetitive inhibitors bind to the enzyme molecules and take a little effort to get free from its active site. The effective slowdown of the biochemical processes would help in sustaining a chemical balance.
Non- Competitive inhibitors: The non-competitive inhibitors are although not suitable for the active sites of the enzyme molecules. It hampers the natural impact of enzymes over the chemical reaction since the molecular structure of the enzyme gets distorted for a while. Such locking of the substrate on the enzyme would prevent it from entering different processes.
The major role of controlling the metabolic activities in a living body is done by the allosteric enzymes. The biological balance is very crucial to sustain life, and hence allosteric enzymes are very crucial.
Major features of allosteric enzymes
Purpose of an enzyme
It is impossible for a living body to sustain its life enzymes are absent in it. The practicality of enzymes is very wide, and it holds significance in various biological activities. We have listed down some of the significant enzymes of the human body and their respective roles.
Lactase – The enzyme is secreted in the small intestine of the human body while the process of digestion is going on. The sugar present in milk is lactose, and by the help of lactase, it is disintegrated into galactose and glucose.
Lipases – This enzyme would help the process of digestion by disintegrating fatty food.
Trypsin – The disintegration of protein happens in the small intestine of the human body. Trypsin helps to break the protein molecules into simpler amino acids. This helps the effective absorption of protein into the body.
Amylase – The process of digestion starts even from the mouth of the human being. Salivary amylase helps to convert the starch into its simpler forms of sugars while the food is chewed.
Maltase – This enzyme disintegrates large hydrocarbon molecules of maltose into simple glucose molecules.
As mentioned in the previous section of this article, the activation energy required to start a chemical reaction is lowered significantly by an enzyme. Thus by reducing the energy required to conduct a biochemical reaction increases its efficiency to them multiple times. The enzymes provide a convenient circumstance for the reactants which are held together in a way so that the reaction would take place abruptly.
Enzymes are more efficient in biological circumstances since it provides the appropriate nonpolar and acidic conditions. These factors would create a large impact on the overall efficiency of the chemical procedure. One of the best quality of enzymes which sets it apart from the catalysts is that its molecular structure remains intact after entering into a reaction. The same enzyme molecule would take part in the coming cycles of catalysis.
Scientific characteristics of enzymes
The colloidal nature of the enzymes set it apart from another type of protein in the living body. Some of the distinctive factors like change in performance at different pH levels, different temperatures, various inhibitors, turnover numbers, etc. are some decisive factors of enzymes. Let us have a detailed look over the scientific characteristics of enzymes.
We hope that this article on the characteristics of enzymes was quite helpful for you. Please stick with us for similar academic blogs.
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