Enzyme Lab Report

Enzyme Lab Report - Introduction Enzymes augment reactions in cells to go at a speed that is necessary to maintain life In fact chemist discovered

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Introduction Enzymes augment reactions in cells to go at a speed that is necessary to maintain life. In fact, chemist discovered that some materials could be changed from one form to another and that the change could occur faster in the presence of certain chemicals. These chemicals are now known as catalysts, which speed up a reaction but they remain unchanged and are not consumed in the reaction. In our cells, enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts. In an enzymatic reaction, the molecule that is acted upon and is changed by the enzyme is known as the substrate. For this reason, enzymes are usually named according to the substrate on which they work and the –ase suffix indicates that it is an enzyme. Other factors, such as heat might also have an effect on a particular reaction’s speed. The enzyme that was observed in this lab was catecholase, which participates in a necessary part of many plants’ responses to injury. The reaction we observed involved a colorless compound, catechol, catalyzed by the enzyme catecholase, to form benzoquinone. Benzoquinone is reddish-brown in color and acts as an antiseptic for some plants. Small concentrations of catechol lie beneath the surface of many plants and when the plant is exposed to air due to cutting or bruising, oxygen in the atmosphere will oxidize (take away electrons from) the catechol that is exposed. A water molecule is produced in this process. The oxidation of catechol results in benzoquinone, which helps the plants maintain uncontaminated while recovering from the bruise or cut. Without the presence of this enzyme, there would not be an adequate amount of benzoquinone to prevent pathogens in the damaged tissue. I have observed this while eating an apple. Once the skin is pierced, in a short amount of time a brownish-orange color will appear; this is benzoquinone. This enzymatic reaction is represented by the reaction: Catechol + ½ O 2 catecholase benzoquinone + H 2 O.
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In the lab, we preformed an initial procedure to make sure that the presence of only catecholase or the presence of catechol only would not produce significant amounts of benzoquinone, which could directly affect our results in the latter experiments. The enzymatic solution came from a potato, in which both the enzyme catecholase and the substrate catechol were both present; therefore, a small amount of benzoquinone was produced. To counter this small amount of benzoquinone being produced, we subtracted the absorbance of the tube with only catecholase and distilled water from the experimental tube that contained catecholase (the enzyme), catechol (the substrate), and distilled water to obtain a baseline amount of benzoquinone in the enzyme solution that came from the potato. The tube containing only the catechol (the substrate) did not produce enough benzoquinone to create a difference, however if given enough time, the catechol will be oxidized by the atmosphere (which contains oxygen, the second product in this reaction) thus producing some benzoquinone. Generally, I determined that
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course BIOL 101L taught by Professor Stengaga during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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Enzyme Lab Report - Introduction Enzymes augment reactions in cells to go at a speed that is necessary to maintain life In fact chemist discovered

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