Enzymes are proteins and polymers of amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds that contain two groups of atoms identified as “amino group and carboxylic acid group” (Encyclopedia of Science, 5 Oct. 2013). Enzymes are billions of years old and are the end result of various chemical reactions. Richard Wolfenden, a biochemistry professor at the University of Ohio, explains that unique enzymes are needed to perform a particular function, such as chemical reactions and evolution processes. For example, DNA and RNA strands require the participation of enzymes to make them complete, and without these, the process would take millions of years. Wolfenden discovered that they contribute to a substance evolution that would take place in milliseconds versus two billion years in their absence. Chemical reactions performed by enzymes vary in weight. The scale starts at 10,000 Daltons, which is a unit of mass in the atomic units system, and it reaches 1,000,000. He highlights in his research that for synthetic chemical reactions, the starting scale is reflected to be very substantial; therefore, enzymes are very unique. Enzymes that carry out “nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy” activities are singled out because they make it possible to see and study their movements that otherwise would be concealed (ScienceDaily, 6 Oct. 2013). Biologists have succeeded in reproducing chemical reactions in the lab to slow them down, and that helps them manufacture inhibitor drugs for different diseases such as high blood pressure. In our body, enzymes come together in greater numbers on the cells where they catalyze a reaction; therefore, examining a blood serum sample helps identify a disease because “damaged enzymes leak into the circulation from damaged cells and tissues” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 5 Oct. 2013).
Energy must be present for chemical reactions to be manifested, and the amount of time varies if enzymes are involved in the process. In addition, they catalyze or speed up reactions. Although energy is needed to start the reaction, it would take less time and less energy to complete it if catalysts are present. Some forms of energy are heat and electricity, but our body uses cellular respiration to collect chemical energy from the food we eat and change it to ATP energy that all cells need to work. We cannot live without enzymes because they are responsible for “thousands of chemical reactions” needed to perform various tasks in our body (Encyclopedia of Science, 5 Oct. 2013). Every life form that makes oxygen also makes Hydrogen Peroxide, which is a “bi-product of some chemical reactions” (Enzymes, 5 Oct. 2013). The human body produces catalase enzymes that get rid of this bi-product by transforming it into water and oxygen that cells use, otherwise cells would be harmed. Primarily, proteins are created of amino acids, which respond to each other and come together, forming a strand that has a “tridimensional shape” (Encyclopedia of Science, 5 Oct. 2013). This shape makes it possible for proteins to join other molecules matching their own shape. Substrates are molecules that attach to enzymes and can be broken down by these during chemical reactions. Catalyst reactions do not destroy the enzymes; for this reason, they do this process over and over again. Usually, a reaction is blocked by a “small regulatory molecule” that join an enzyme in sites other than the active site, changing the enzyme’s shape and it no longer fits into its substrate (Encyclopedia Britannica, 5 Oct. 2013). This concept is recognized as induce-fit theory that states that the “binding of substrates” either start or impede a reaction.
The intent of these trials was to find out the degree of catalyze reaction as enzymes are exposed to different solutions as well as temperature effects. It is important to know how enzymes work and to know how they are affected by their surroundings because