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Biological Energy

Proteins fold into complex shapes. Part of the folding on the surface of an enzyme protein holds the substrate molecules in an enzyme-substrate complex. R-groups from amino acids in this "active site" interact with the substrate molecules. The sum of the forces acting on the substrate orients the molecules and also lowers the activation energy barrier. A chemical reaction takes place, products are produced and the active site becomes free to bind more substrate molecules. The rate of the reaction is increased.

Science@a Distance
© 2001, Professor John Blamire