lab report 1 - Chapter 2 Properties of Enzymes Purpose The...

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Chapter 2: Properties of Enzymes Purpose: The purpose of the chapter 2 lab was to determine a variety of enzymatic properties. Enzymes are large proteins which act as catalysts in many biological reactions. An enzyme is composed of one or more polypeptide chains, which are uniquely folded into an elaborate 3 dimensional shape. One portion of the protein is folded in a specific way in order to form an “active site”, which is where a substrate or the material that helps to make the enzyme active physically attaches to the larger protein. The substrate fits onto the enzyme in a manner, which is comparable to a lock and key. The substrate literally fits into the enzyme’s reaction site, therefore making it so important that the polypeptide chain(s) are folded perfectly. If it is not folded correctly, the substrate will not be able to bind to the reaction site, and therefore the enzyme would be rendered useless, unable to catalyze a reaction. If the physical surroundings of the enzyme become altered, something called “denaturation” will often take place. Denaturation, which is a physical change in protein structure, often “unwinding” the polypeptide, occurs as a result of a change in surrounding pH, temperature, concentration (both substrate and enzyme), inhibitors, etc. The enzyme that we used in our experiments was Peroxidase, a large protein containing several hundred amino acids with an iron atom located at its active site. Peroxidase normally functions to convert H 2 O 2 into water and O 2 . We performed tests on the peroxidase with dye-coupled reactions. These reactions are the O 2 from the break down of H 2 O 2 reacting with a dye added to solution. We used the dye “Guaiacol” which turns brown upon contact with the residual O 2 . Once the gauiacol and the solution were mixed,
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the test tube was placed in a spectrophotometer in order to accurately measure the amount of “brown” in the solution. The purpose of this lab was to find out under what conditions Peroxidase reacts with H 2 O 2 .
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