The Role of Enzymes in Metabolism


Metabolism is chemical reactions occurring in organisms. Without enzymes metabolism wouldn’t be fast enough to support life. Metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions occurring in organisms.

Chemical composition:

  • Enzymes are made of protein.
  • Protein consists of one or more polypeptide chain.
  • These are made of long chains of amino acids connected by peptide bonds.

Structure of Enzymes:

  • In enzymes, the polypeptide chain is folded into a 3D shape.
  • A part of the enzyme is called the active site. This attaches to the substrate
  • The substrate is molecules the enzymes act upon.

Specific of enzymes:

  • They are highly specific in their actions
  • Each enzyme acts on substrate only
  • This is because the shape of the active site of the enzyme fits with the shape of the substrate material
  • The substrate molecules bind to the active site and cause a chemical reaction
  • The products are the substances that the substrates become. They can either be split of joined.


The Lock and key model:

Suggests that the substrate fits perfectly into the Active site of the enzyme like a key to a lock. It is usually draw simplistically and un rigid.

The Induced fit model:

States that the binding of the substrate to the enzyme causes a temporary change of the enzyme. The new shape can fit the shape of the substrate and causes the reaction.

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