Boiled Enzyme vs. Frozen Enzyme

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Enzymes are typically proteins that catalyze highly specialized chemical reactions within the cell. Find out about a boiled enzyme versus a frozen enzyme with help from an experienced biology professional in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Dan Weisenberger. And today I'd like to talk about boiled enzyme versus frozen enzyme. Enzymes are typically proteins that catalyze highly specialized chemical reactions within the cell. Usually these are in metabolic processes or other events that are essential to the function of the cell. They do this by coordinating the substrates and necessary cofactors into a small space within the protein's active site to speed up the reaction. Now enzymes function by lowering the energy that is needed to catalyze, or that is needed to proceed through a chemical reaction. So if you look at a reaction shown here and we plot the energy needed versus the reaction progress, we see that initially there is a large amount of energy that is needed to get the reaction to what we call a transition state. And this is a state that is very temporal but it is part substrate, part reactant. Once we get to this point then the reaction becomes more energetically favorable as we proceed to our product. And so, and this difference in energy between the transition state and the initial state is the activation energy. Now what enzymes do is that they lower the activation energy needed to achieve the transition state. And by doing so they speed up the reaction and it becomes much more efficient. Now enzymes are also temperature dependent. And if we look, if we plot the activity of the enzyme versus temperature on the x axis, we see that as the temperature rises the activity of the enzyme also increases. And this is due to the fact that the biomolecules and substrates within the reaction have a higher kinetic energy during the at higher temperatures. And so the reaction proceeds much more quickly. However at very high temperatures and up to boiling we see that the enzyme can no longer maintain its three dimensional structure and enzyme activity precipitously drops. And at boiling temperatures the protein is essentially unfolded and not able to catalyze a reaction. If we look here at the initial point, let's say if this was a temperature of freezing we see that at these temperatures, because the kinetic energy is low overall in the reaction, the activity of the enzyme is low. And in practice enzymes are stored in freezing conditions but not in a solvent like water that would form a solid. And that would impair its activity through degradation. So enzymes are stored in glycerol solvents or other solvents of that nature in order to preserve the three dimensional structure and maintain activity for experiments. I'm Dan Weisenberger. This is boiled enzyme versus frozen enzyme.


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