Energy Regulators: Enzymes and ATP Enzymes If all the energy in a reaction were released at the same time, most of it would be lost as heat— burning up the cells—and little could be captured to do metabolic (or any other kind) of work. Organisms have evolved a multitude of materials and mechanisms—such as enzymes—that control and permit the stepwise use of the released energy. Enzymes control the state of energy a molecule must attain before it can release energy and are the chief catalysts of biochemical reactions. They are neither consumed nor changed in the reactions. Basically, enzymes reduce the activation energy needed to start a reaction by temporarily bonding with the reacting molecules and, in so doing, weakening the chemical bonds. Almost all of the over 2,000 known enzymes are proteins, nearly all of which operate with cofactors
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