Welcome to today’s lesson on enzymes. In this lesson you are going to learn about the structure and function of enzymes, as well as the role that they play in your body. Specifically, you will learn about:
If you remember from earlier lessons, ribosomes are part of a cell that make proteins and proteins can have various different roles in your body. One of those roles is that they can become enzymes.
Enzymes are made up of proteins and speed up chemical reactions in your body. So an enzyme can actually make a chemical reaction happen millions of times faster than it would otherwise. They're very important in your body because it really does help to speed up those chemical reactions that are happening in your body all the time.
Enzymes are very specific to the type of reaction that it takes place in. Enzymes can join substances together, or break them apart.
An example is salivary amylase. This is an example of one of the enzymes that you have in your body. The purpose of salivary amylase is to break down starches into simple sugars. If you eat something that has a lot of starch in it, the salivary amylase in your saliva will begin to break down those starches into simple sugars in your mouth. Salivary amylase will only break down starches into sugars. It's not going to take part in any other reaction in your body.
But sometimes enzymes can also join substances together into a larger compound.
Take a look at the diagram above. The purple part is going to represent the enzyme and the green parts are going to represent substrates. A substrate is whatever the enzyme is working on to either join together or break down. And the other area is called the active site. The active site is the part on the enzyme where the substrates will attach. These are the three main parts that you'll need to know about an enzyme.
It is difficult to tell from the drawing, but it is important to note that when the substrate attaches to the enzyme, the enzyme generally will mold itself around our substrate; this is called induced fit. That puts pressure on the bonds of the substrate and either bonds those substrates together, or helps to break the bonds and break that substrate apart into two separate products.
So substrates will attach to an enzyme at the active site. From there, the enzyme will either break those substances down or join them together.
An enzyme, after it participates in this type of reaction, is going to remain unchanged. So the enzyme can actually be used again. It's going to be the same at the end as it was at the beginning; it's unchanged after the reaction. So the substrate has changed and become a product, it's different in the beginning than it is in the end, but the enzyme will remain unchanged, and can be used again.
Today’s lesson has been a brief overview on the structure and function of enzymes in your body. You also got a closer look at the the process of an enzyme joining substances together or breaking them apart.
Keep up the learning and have a great day!
Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND
A protein that changes the shape of a substrate in order to increase the speed of chemical reactions
The molecule that is acted on by an enzyme
The result of a chemical reaction where an enzyme has acted on a substrate
The area on an enzyme where the substrate attaches