Lecture 006 – Enzymes: A Summary • The spontaneity of a reaction is determined by ΔG, in which if ΔG < 0, a reaction is designated as non-spontaneous (requiring energy to proceed), and is also known as an endergonic reaction. If ΔG > 0, a reaction is designated as spontaneous (doesn’t require energy to proceed, however doesn’t necessarily mean reaction will proceed rapidly), which is also known as an exergonic reaction. • Enzymes act as “biological catalysts”, in that they make reactions go faster, however they cannot cause endergonic reactions to become spontaneous. • Enzymes work by reducing the activation energy of a reaction. In a reaction, the activation energy is the energy required to start the reaction. This in effect acts very much like a “barrier”. The enzyme reduces the energy requirement to get to the transition state. • Enzymes, being proteins, are given much of their function through tertiary and quaternary structure. Therefore the sequence and selection of amino acids in the protein does not dictate the function of the
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