A Biological Catalyst

A Biological Catalyst
A Biological catalyst is a catalyst that is produced organically. In
other words, a cell makes it. It is usually a protein or steroid
molecule that works to catalyse a specific reaction. For example,
amylase is a biological catalyst. Biological catalysts are called
enzymes. Reactions take energy to get them started. This energy is
called the activation energy. Enzymes catalyse reactions inside
organisms. A catalyst is a molecule
that acts as a matchmaker, bringing together the chemicals of the
reaction, and getting them together.
Just like a matchmaker of olden
days, it is not actually involved in the reaction ? the husband and
wife get married, and the matchmaker is free to go and match up some
other couples. (A catalyst can also function as a divorce agent,
splitting molecules apart, not only a marriage agent.) Just like a
couple found it easier to get together with a matchmaker, just so the
molecules in a reaction get together faster with an enzyme, or
catalyst.
A catalyst is said to ?lower the activation energy? of the reaction ?
it lowers the amount of effort needed to get the reaction going, just
like a matchmaker lowers the energy needed to get a couple
together.
Amylase is an enzyme that breaks starch down into simpler molecules.
While the food is chewed, salivary amylase is released by the salivary
glands, and the starch in the food begins to be broken down into
shorted carbohydrate molecules. Salivary amylase is an enzyme that
breaks down big molecules into smaller ones. Amylase enzyme breaks
starch molecules up into two-residue units (a residue is a glucose
molecule, or ?monomer? of sugar. Lots of residues joined together form
a polysaccharide. Starch is a polysaccharide). Two glucose molecules
split off from the starch molecule form maltose. This maltose is the
product of catalytic action by the enzyme amylase on the substrate.
The substrate is the starch.

2.) What are intracellular/ extracellular enzymes? Enzymes are proteins. They are very important substances because they control the chemical reactions that happen in our bodies. There are two main types of enzyme. Digestive enzymes are extracellular enzymes ? they control reactions that take place outside cells. Those enzymes that control reactions inside cells are called intracellular enzymes. 3.) What is the Lock and Key theory? The lock is the enzyme and the key is the substrate. Only the correctly sized key (substrate) fits into the key hole (active site) of the lock (enzyme). Smaller keys, larger keys, or incorrectly positioned teeth on keys (incorrectly shaped or sized substrate molecules) do not fit into the lock (enzyme). Only the correctly shaped key opens a particular lock. 4.) What factors affect enzyme activity? (1) temperature: Proteins change shape as temperatures change. Because so much of an enzyme?s activity is based on its shape, temperature changes can mess up the process and the enzyme won?t work. (2) activators: Sometimes you need an enzyme to work faster and your body creates an activator. Other times you might eat something that acts as an activator. Activators make enzymes work harder and faster. If you?re running in a race and you need more energy. Get those enzymes to work! (3) PH levels: In the same way that temperature can change the shape of proteins, the acidity of the environment does the same thing. Remember that the pH is a measure of acidity? (4) inhibitors: These are the opposite of activators. Inhibitors either slow down or stop the activity of an enzyme. They often bond to the protein and the shape changes. Remember ? When the shape changes, the enzyme will not work the same way. A nasty example of an inhibitor is snake venom or maybe nerve gas from World War I.

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