Friday, November 13, 2015

Four Common Features of Enzymes

Enzymes exhibit four fundamental characteristics. First, enzymes do not make a reaction occur that would not occur on its own, they just make it happen much faster. Second, the enzyme molecule is not permanently altered by the reaction. It may be changed transiently, but the enzyme at the end of the reaction is the same molecule it was at the beginning. Therefore, a single enzyme molecule can be used over and over to catalyze the same reaction. Third, an enzyme can catalyze both the forward and the reverse reaction. One direction may be more favorable than the other, but the unfavorable direction of the reaction can occur. Fourth, enzymes are highly specific for the substrates they bind, meaning they catalyze only one reaction.

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