Enzyme Structure

Enzymes are proteins which catalyse (speed up) metabolic reactions. Like all other catalysts (e.g. in chemistry), enzymes achieve this by lowering the activation energy (energy needed for a reaction to occur) of a reaction, by forming an enzyme-substrate complex.

This can be described by the lock and key, and induced fit models of enzyme action. The lock and key model is based on complementary shapes between the enzyme and substrate. The substrate fits into the enzyme.

The induced fit model: (the enzyme changes shape to “hug” the…