Can an Enzyme-Catalyzed Chemical Be Destroyed?

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An enzyme-catalyzed chemical can definitely be destroyed, so long as a few basic rules are observed. Find out if an enzyme-catalyzed chemical can be destroyed with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Chemistry & Biology Concepts
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Robin Higgins, and this is "can an enzyme-catalyzed chemical be destroyed?" Alright, so, very violent imagery in this question, and yes, you can definitely destroy any chemical, whether or not it's undergone some kind of change through an enzyme. So, just to review what an enzyme is, if you have reactants and you want your chemical reaction to turn 'em into products, there's always gonna be an activation energy that you would need to overcome, just energy that you need to put into the reagents to have it make a transformation and turn into products. And, so, an enzyme provides a different pathway, which always lower the activation energy. So, it's much easier to get over this small little hump than this big one. Alright, so, an enzyme is like natures catalyst. So, let's just have an example. Let's say that we have our enzyme, and what this does is that it fits alcohols, so alcohols go in, and then, aldehydes come out. We'll say this enzyme just allows for this oxidation to happen more easily. Okay, well, the question is can enzyme-catalyzed chemicals be destroyed? So, this is what comes out of the enzyme, which means that's it's been, undergone a reaction through out, through an enzyme. It's an enzyme reactive chemical. Can this be destroyed? Well, yeah. Nothing's protecting it. It's just out in the body doing whatever it needs to do. So, if another chemical comes along, or even another enzyme, it can definitely be altered. And, instead of destroyed, probably changed, or reacted, would be a better word, because destroyed implies that, I don't know, it was obliterated, when really, no matter what happens, those atoms are still gonna be around. It's just in some kind of other form. So, yeah, an enzyme doesn't protect, doesn't provide, like, a barrier, or protection, or make this invincible, or anything. It just has transformed it into another chemical, which then goes on it's merry way. I am Robin Higgins and this is "can an enzyme-catalyzed chemical be destroyed?"


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