How Does Catalase Affect The Initial Rate Of Formation And Total Amount Of O2?

1737 Words Sep 12th, 2016 7 Pages
Modeling enzymes: How does catalase affect the initial rate of formation and total amount of O2?

Introduction In water, hydrogen peroxide converts naturally into diatomic oxygen gas and water through the collision of water molecules. However, this reaction occurs at an extremely slow rate. With the presence of an enzyme, catalase, the reaction occurs at a much faster rate. This is because catalase binds with the hydrogen peroxide substrate at its transition state to weaken the covalent bonds, reducing the energy and precision needed for a collision of water molecules to yield a reaction. In our cells, there are numerous naturally occurring reactions which produce hydrogen peroxide. However, hydrogen peroxide is a toxin to the human body. Although it naturally decomposes to oxygen and water, this reaction is slow. To combat this, our liver produces catalase, which speeds up hydrogen peroxide decomposition to prevent the buildup of hydrogen peroxide in our body. Through this experiment, we will understand specifically how catalase functions in our body. Besides understanding the specific functioning of catalase, we also hope to learn how enzymes affect reactions in general. In our body, most uncatalyzed reactions would occur too slowly for humans to survive. As a result, understanding how enzymes function and affect reactions is essential for comprehending important processes. Through our hydrogen peroxide-catalase experiment, we will understand how catalase affects the…

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