Document 2 - Practically all of the numerous and complex...

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Practically all of the numerous and complex biochemical reactions that take place in animals, plants, and microorganisms are regulated by enzymes. Most enzymes are Proteins. Each enzyme is able to promote only one type (or a small number) of chemical reaction. Enzymes can be classified into several broad categories, such as hydrolytic, oxidizing, and reducing, depending on the type of reaction they control. In an enzyme catalyzed reaction, the compounds on which the enzyme acts are called substrates and the resulting compounds are called products . In our lab, while processing data and by analyzing our results, we had quantitatively investigated a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme Catalase . The enzyme Catalase catalyzes the following reaction: 2H 2 O 2 ===Catalase=====> 2H 2 O + O 2 Put in words, Catalase takes two molecules of hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) and converts them to two water molecules plus a molecule of oxygen gas. Hydrogen peroxide is a toxic molecule (that's why we use it to kill Bacteria). However, H 2 O 2 is frequently created in our bodies during normal metabolic events. To remove any unwanted H 2 O 2 the enzyme catalase is present in the peroxisomes of nearly all human cells. There, it serves to protect the cell from any toxic effects by catalyzing the decompostion of H 2 O 2 without the production of Oxygen free radicals. The Catalase protein exists as a dumbbell-shaped tetramer of four identical subunits (220,000 to 350,000 kD). Each monomer contains a heme prosthetic group at the catalytic center. This is the same type of Heme group as found in Hemoglobin. In the middle of each heme group sits an iron atom. Catalase uses the iron atom to help it break the bonds in the two molecules of hydrogen peroxide, shifting the atoms around to release two molecules of water and a molecule of oxygen gas. Enzymes catalyze reactions by lowering the activation energy necessary for a reaction to occur.
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