Enzyme catalysis can be regarded as a catalytic reaction between homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions. It can be seen as the reaction between the enzyme and the reaction for formation of intermediate compounds, and it can also be seen as the reaction after the surface of the enzyme adsorbs the reactant.
It is an organic colloidal substance composed of protein. It plays a catalytic role for biochemical reactions.
Fermentation also is finished by its role of protease enzyme.
Accelerating or slowing down a chemical reaction by enzymes is called enzyme catalysis. Hundreds of different reactions performing simultaneously in a living cell are accomplished by a considerable number of enzymes. In many cases, small structural changes in the substrate molecule will make the compound loss the ability to act as a substrate.
Enzyme catalysis shows a characteristic which is not seen in non-enzymatic reaction. It can be saturated with substrate. When the substrate concentration increases, the enzyme reaction rate will reach equilibrium and approach a maximum value of Vm.
Nearly 2000 different enzymes are known, and at least 200 have been produced with crystals. Most enzymes are proteins(such as pepsin enzyme) whose molecular weight ranges from about 10,000 to more than 1,000,000. They are usually classified and name according to the enzyme-catalyzed reactions.
Some enzyme activities are determined only by their protein structures, while some enzymes need one or many non-protein components, known as the auxiliary factor. The auxiliary factor can be metal ion or metal complex, or it can also be organic molecule called coenzyme. Some enzymes need both.
Discovery in nature
In nature, about 1/3 of enzymes require metal ions as activators. Some enzymes containing metal, like iron, molybdenum, copper, zinc and other transition metal ions, bound to protein firmly to form the active site of the enzyme.
Understanding various ingenious designed enzyme mechanisms during millions of years of evolution in nature can not only reveal the mystery of biological catalytic process, but also lay a scientific foundation for the use of some principles to develop new and efficient catalysts, and promote the catalytic disciplines—light assisted catalysis, electrocatalysis and photoelectric catalysis.
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