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Proteins and Enzymes

Posted on Jan 19 2011 by Tracey Kuit

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Tags: asell biology, biochemistry and cell biology

Experiment Overview

Proteins are extremely important biological molecules, both structurally (e.g. your fingernails are made of the protein keratin, whilst collagen is a very important protein in connective tissue) and functionally as enzymes catalyzing biological reactions. In part A of this prac, students determine the amount of protein in a sample, by effectively measuring the peptide bonds (as each amino acid has a peptide bond connecting it with the next) using a Biuret spectrophotometric assay. Students generate a standard curve, an extremely important tool in biochemistry.

In the second part of the prac, students do a hypothetical experiment on enzymes. Enzymes are protein molecules which act as catalysts of biochemical reactions. Enzymes act by binding the substrate (substance which reacts) and providing a pathway for the reaction, making the conversion from substrate to product faster. Without enzymes, biochemical reactions would take hours or days to proceed. During an enzymatic reaction, substrate is converted to product, but the enzyme is released unchanged, ready to repeat the process with other substrate molecules (catalysis - to change without changing).

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