what feature of enzymes determines the molecules (i.e substrate) that they can act upon?

help me out, thanks!!!

3 Answers

  • eli
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Their tertiary structure determines their shape, which determines the substrate.

    Enzymes are mainly proteins, that catalyze (i.e., increase the rates of) chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process are called substrates, and the enzyme converts them into different molecules, called the products. Almost all processes in a biological cell need enzymes to occur at significant rates. Since enzymes are selective for their substrates and speed up only a few reactions from among many possibilities, the set of enzymes made in a cell determines which metabolic pathways occur in that cell.

    Like all catalysts, enzymes work by lowering the activation energy (Ea‡) for a reaction, thus dramatically increasing the rate of the reaction. Most enzyme reaction rates are millions of times faster than those of comparable un-catalyzed reactions. As with all catalysts, enzymes are not consumed by the reactions they catalyze, nor do they alter the equilibrium of these reactions. However, enzymes do differ from most other catalysts by being much more specific. Enzymes are known to catalyze about 4,000 biochemical reactions

    Source(s): go to utube "enzyme"
  • 1 decade ago

    Enzymes are highly specific in the reactions they catalyze. It is based on the "Lock and Key Theory". The shape of each enzyme is very specific and can only bind to one substrate.

  • 1 decade ago

    THEIR SHAPE!!!!!! haha, we like, just went over this in our class too. Each type of enzyme has a specific shape that only fits certain substrates. lactase only fits lactose, cellulase only fits cellulose, etc.

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