Enzyme on Enzymes
Country: United States
Date: February 2006
How do enzymes break down enzymes?
Enzymes are simply proteins, so they can be broken down just like any other
of molecule. It doesn't matter if the molecule is a carbohydrate (lactose
lactase), fat (by lipases) or any other type of protein (like steak by
The mechanism of enzyme action is basically the same across the wide range
of enzymes that can be found.
First the enzyme must have an active site specific for the substrate it
helps to change. This is a special area of the enzyme, usually a pocket or
the substrate is complementary to and can fit into, just like a phone into a
Once the substrate is in the active site of the enzyme, the enzyme bends or
twists the substrate into a position (conformation) that favors a chemical
reaction to take place.
This is called lowering the activation energy of the substrate. After the
reaction is done, the enzyme releases the substrate that is now chemically
different and is called the product. The enzyme is not changed during the
reaction and is now unbound and free to participate in another reaction.
Our bodies use tons of enzymes to speed up (catalyze) the metabolic events
in our cells that would normally occur so slowly that we would not be able
to live!!! Thank goodness for enzymes!
Hope this helps and study hard-
Stephen A. Sardino Jr.
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Update: June 2012