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Unit IX: Enzymatic Kinetics

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  • Enzyme kinetics is the study of the chemical reactions that are catalyzed by enzymes. In enzyme kinetics, the reaction rate is measured and the effects of varying the conditions of the reaction are investigated.

    • 10.1: General Principles of Catalysis
      Catalysts provide a means of reducing the energy barrier and increasing the reaction rate. Catalysts are defined as substances that participate in a chemical reaction but are not changed or consumed. Instead they provide a new mechanism for a reaction to occur which has a lower activation energy than that of the reaction without the catalyst. Homogeneous catalysis refers to reactions in which the catalyst is in solution with at least one of the reactants whereas heterogeneous catalysis refers t
    • 10.2: The Equations of Enzyme Kinetics
      In biological systems, enzymes act as catalysts and play a critical role in accelerating reactions many times faster than the reaction would normally proceed. Enzymes are high-molecular weight proteins that act on a substrate, or reactant molecule, to form one or more products.  Enzymes are highly specific catalysts for biochemical reactions, with each enzyme showing a selectivity for a single reactant, or substrate.
    • 10.3: Chymotrypsin: A Case Study
      Chymotrypsin is a digestive enzyme belonging to a super family of enzymes called serine proteases. It uses an active serine residue to perform hydrolysis on the C-terminus of the aromatic amino acids of other proteins. Chymotrypsin is a protease enzyme that cleaves on the C-terminal phenylalanine (F), tryptophan (W), and tyrosine (Y) on peptide chains. It shows specificity for aromatic amino acids because of its hydrophobic pocket.
    • 10.4: Multisubstrate Systems
      The Michaelis –Menten model of enzyme kinetics was derived for single substrate reactions. Enzymatic reactions requiring multiple substrates and yielding multiple products are more common and yielding multiple products are more common than single-substrate reaction. In these types of reactions, the all the substrates involved are bound to the enzyme before catalysis of the reaction takes place to release the products.
    • 10.5: Enzyme Inhibition
      Enzymes can be regulated in ways that either promote or reduce their activity. In some cases of enzyme inhibition, for example, an inhibitor molecule is similar enough to a substrate that it can bind to the active site and simply block the substrate from binding. When this happens, the enzyme is inhibited through competitive inhibition, because an inhibitor molecule competes with the substrate for active site binding
    • 10.6: Allosteric Interactions
      Allosteric regulation is the regulation of an enzyme or other protein by binding an effector molecule at the protein's allosteric site (that is, a site other than the protein's active site). Effectors that enhance the protein's activity are referred to as allosteric activators, whereas those that decrease the protein's activity are called allosteric inhibitors. The term allostery refers to the fact that the regulatory site of an allosteric protein is physically distinct from its active site.
    • 10.7: The Effect of pH on Enzyme Kinetics
      Enzymes are affected by changes in pH. The most favorable pH value - the point where the enzyme is most active - is known as the optimum pH.
    • 10.8: The Effect of Temperature on Enzyme Kinetics
      Enzyme structures unfold (denature) when heated or exposed to chemical denaturants and this disruption to the structure typically causes a loss of activity. Protein folding is key to whether a globular protein or a membrane protein can do its job correctly. It must be folded into the right shape to function.
    • 10.E: Exercises
      This are exercises that to accompany the TextMap organized around Raymond Chang's Physical Chemistry for the Biosciences textbook.

    Thumbnail: Enzyme changes shape by induced fit upon substrate binding to form enzyme-substrate complex. Hexokinase has a large induced fit motion that closes over the substrates adenosine triphosphate and xylose. Binding sites in blue, substrates in black and Mg2+ cofactor in yellow. (PDB: 2E2N​, 2E2Q​). Image used with permission (CC BY 4.0l Thomas Shafee).