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Lab 4 - Enzymes &

The Catalase Lab


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After completing this activity,
students will be able to:
Determine the household use of Hydrogen
Peroxide
Recognize different enzymes and their
characteristics
Compare and contrast the catalase in animal
vs. plant cells
Explain why temperature and pH would have
an effect on enzyme activity

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What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are Biological Catalysts - substances
that increase the speed of chemical reactions.
When an enzyme is present it takes less energy
to start a chemical reaction (activation energy)
Enzymes help maintain homeostasis
Enzymes facilitate metabolism which is
essential for life


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Enzymes are
proteins.
Proteins are made
up of amino acids
Enzymes work with
a very specific
substrate (the
molecule acted on
by an enzyme) to
speed up a reaction

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Enzymes have one or more deep folds on its
surface
These folds form pockets called active sites
Enzymes act on the substrate, by fitting into
the active site like a puzzle
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Enzymes and their substrates
Each enzyme has a definite
3-D shape that allows it to
bind with its substrate
Each enzymes acts only on
one specific substrate,
which means they break
down specific substances
(like a lock and key)

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Why do we need enzymes?
Enzymes work to:
Turn leaves colors in the fall (think of the yellows,
oranges, reds, purples)
Ripen foods (this is what makes your bananas
brown, or apples get mushy),
Digest foods after they are eaten,
Produce DNA and hormones
Without enzymes, life as we know it is not
possible
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What affects enzymes in a reaction?

Temperature
pH

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Temperature
There is one temperature
at which specific enzymes
work best.
This optimal temperature
is usually around human
body temperature (37.5
o
C) for the enzymes in
human cells.
Above this temperature
the enzyme structure
begins to break down
(denature) (ie. fever)

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pH
Enzymes have an
optimal pH. However
the optimum is not the
same for each enzyme.
Enzymes are found at
different places in your
body, and in the
environment
pH would be different in
the body vs. stomach

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Factors that affect enzyme activity
Temperature
Low temperature (cold) = reactions occur slowly
High temperature (hot) = enzymes denature, which can change the
structure of proteins and alter the enzymes function forever
pH
pH scale goes from 0-14
pH of pure water is 7
Basic (pH higher than 7); Acidic (pH lower that 7)
Changes in pH can also change the structure of proteins and alter
the enzymes function.
Organisms can only tolerate (stand) small changes in pH because
every cell has a particular pH at which it functions best
(homeostasis).

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Examples of Enzymes and their
Substrates
Enzyme Substrate
Amylase---------------------Starch
Maltase----------------------Maltose
Sucrase----------------------Sucrose
Lipase------------------------Lipids (Fats)
Pepsin------------------------Proteins
Catalase--------------Hydrogen Peroxide

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Catalase
2H
2
0
2
2H
2
0 + 0
2
(gas)
The products of the above reaction are
oxygen gas and water, two non-poisonous
molecules. In living cells, the oxygen can be
used for cellular respiration and the water can
be excreted.

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H
2
O
2
is similar to H
2
O
Hydrogen peroxide is chemically very similar to
water.
Water = H
2
O,
Hydrogen peroxide = H
2
O
2
.
In chemistry, things can change a lot when you
change the formula.

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An extra atom of oxygen also makes hydrogen
peroxide a very different chemical, which can
be dangerous if it is concentrated.
That is why the H
2
O
2
you get at the grocery is
only 3%. The rest is plain water and it is
diluted enough to make it safe for household
use.

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Scientific Terminology (used in this lab)
Control the constant between experimental
groups
Independent variable the one variable that
changes between experimental groups
Dependent variable measured variable
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POST LAB
What causes the bubbles?
Why did some substances bubble more than
others?
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