Biology: Enzyme and Optimum Temperature Essay

Submitted By appleshereen
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Pages: 7

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Temperature affecting enzyme function

Hey Mr Mills
I wanted to approve the topic I had chosen for the EEI. The topic is ‘How the enzyme lipase helps the bread to last for a week rather then a day”, however I was not sure if the laboratory consists of the enzyme lipase for my experiment.

Thank you 

Aim: To find out the optimum temperature at which rennin will clot milk.

Hypothesis: The higher the temperature of the milk, then the faster the time it takes for the milk to curdle.

Background: Enzymes are biological catalysts made of protein. They alter the rate of chemical reactions without themselves being chemically changed at the end of the reaction. They act as catalysts, substances that speed up the chemical reactions without being destroyed or altered during the process. They accomplish this by binding to the reacting molecules, called the substrate, which forms an enzyme-substrate complex. Thus, enzymes are substrate-specific. (Enzyme essentials, 2013)

Of extreme importance to the enzyme’s function is its active site; an indentation whose shape is absolutely critical – the substrate must fit it perfectly, or the enzyme cannot bind to it, and thus it will remain unreactive. The ability of enzymes to function as catalysts depends on three-dimensional shape of the protein. Also, like other catalysts, the enzyme does not provide the free energy necessary to drive otherwise energetically unfavorable reactions, but simply facilitates energetically favorable ones (Redding & Masterman, 2007)

All enzymes are made of protein. In most proteins, the chains of amino acids are coiled or folded up to give the protein a three-dimensional shape. The coils are held in place by weak bonds (hydrogen bonds). Enzymes are highly specific to the reactions they catalyze. They are of vital importance for life because enzymes catalyze most chemical reactions of the cells and tissues. Without enzymatic action those reactions would not occur or would not happen in the required speed for the biological processes in which they participate. (Chemforkids. 1997)

There are defined temperature ranges under which enzymes operate and there is a specific temperature level (optimum temperature) in which the enzyme is most active where they have a maximum efficiency, catalyzing the largest number of reactions per second. The optimum temperature of enzymes varies in different organisms and needs to be determined experimentally. For most enzymes, the optimum temperature is about 40-45 degrees. The optimum temperature is often but not always close to that at which the enzyme usually functions. Certain enzymes in plants have a high optimum temperature. For example, the optimum temperature of the enzyme papain found in papaya is about 65 degrees. (Kwan, 2008)