Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Enzymes - Necessity?

Enzymes


They increase the rate of chemical reactions in living systems. Molecules at the beginning of a chemical reaction, called substrates, converted into different molecules called products.


All living cells need specific enzymes to occur at rates sufficient for life and at low temperatures (body heat) than inorganic catalyst temperatures(very high temperatures).

Enzymes determine the metabolic pathways that take place in a living cell.

Enzymes are not consumed by the reaction. They are used to catalyze the same reaction over and over until they are replaced from wearing out. The enzymes are highly specific for their substrate they catalyze.

Enzymes are affected by other molecules. Inhibitors are molecules that decrease enzyme activity. Activators increase their activity. They are, of course, part of negative feedback systems we discussed earlier, and help maintain homeostasis. 

Remember the perfect environment for living cells? Drugs and poisons are enzyme inhibitors. Temperature, pressure, chemical environments, like pH and concentration of substrate molecules, affect enzymes.

Continue to focus on how slight changes in any of the above factors can results in a change in the enzyme. Once changed the enzyme no longer catalyzes their specific chemical reaction.

Life is very fragile.

This is a "reminder" post about the significance of enzymes and how they play a very crucial role in human homeostasis.

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