Enzyme and Metabolic Reaction
Date: December 2002
How does an enzyme accelerate a metabolic reaction?
This question has many answers, because there are numerous mechanisms. But
a typical mechanism for the catalytic activity (change in the speed of a
reaction) involves the enzyme reacting with the reactant components in such
a way as to orient the reactants in a way that they are more likely to react
with one another. For a reaction to happen, the reactants have to be
oriented with one another to react. For some reactions this is quite
specific -- like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Facilitating that
orientation is what enzymes do.
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Update: June 2012