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Science >> Biology for Kids

Biology for Kids

Enzymes

What are enzymes?

Enzymes are special types of proteins. Like all proteins, enzymes are made from strings of amino acids. The function of the enzyme is determined by the sequence of amino acids, types of amino acids, and the shape of the string.

What do enzymes do?

Enzymes are responsible for a lot of the work that is going on in cells. They act as catalysts in order to help produce and speed up chemical reactions. When a cell needs to get something done, it almost always uses an enzyme to speed things along.

Enzymes are Specific

Enzymes are very specific. This means that each type of enzyme only reacts with the specific type of substance that it was made for. This is important so enzymes don't go around doing the wrong thing and causing chemical reactions where they are aren't supposed to.

How Enzymes Work

Enzymes have a special pocket on their surface called an "active site." The molecule that they are supposed to react with fits neatly right into that pocket. The molecule or substance that the enzyme reacts with is called the "substrate."

The reaction takes place between the enzyme and the substrate at the active site. After the reaction is complete, the new molecule or substance is released by the enzyme. This new substance is called the "product."



Things that Affect Enzyme Activity

The environment of the enzyme and the substrate can affect the speed of the reaction. In some cases the environment can cause the enzyme to stop working or even unravel. When an enzyme stops working we call it "denatured." Here are some things that can affect enzyme activity: Interesting Facts about Enzymes Activities

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More Biology Subjects

Cell
The Cell
Cell Cycle and Division
Nucleus
Ribosomes
Mitochondria
Chloroplasts
Proteins
Enzymes

The Human Body
Human Body
Brain
Nervous System
Digestive System
Sight and the Eye
Hearing and the Ear
Smelling and Tasting
Skin
Muscles
Breathing
Blood and Heart
Bones
List of Human Bones
Immune System
Organs

Nutrition
Nutrition
Vitamins and Minerals
Carbohydrates
Lipids
Enzymes

Genetics
Genetics
Chromosomes
DNA
Mendel and Heredity
Hereditary Patterns
Proteins and Amino Acids

Plants
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Plant Structure
Plant Defenses
Flowering Plants
Non-Flowering Plants
Trees
Living Organisms
Scientific Classification
Animals
Bacteria
Protists
Fungi
Viruses

Disease
Infectious Disease
Medicine and Pharmaceutical Drugs
Epidemics and Pandemics
Historical Epidemics and Pandemics
Immune System
Cancer
Concussions
Diabetes
Influenza


Science >> Biology for Kids

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