Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Metabolism and Enzymes

Metabolism and Enzymes!
Chemical Reactions:

Metabolism is a chemical reaction of life. Bonds forming and breaking between molecules are both involved.

Forming bonds are known as dehydration synthesis, and anabolic reactions. This synthesis requires an enzyme and the release of H2O, while bringing two molecules together.

This diagram shows the dehydration synthesis of sucrose. An enzyme combines Glucose and Frustose, while releasing H2O, to form the compound Sucrose.

Breaking bonds is known as hydrolysis, digestion and catabolic reastions. Breaking of bonds requires a different enzyme, and H2O, to breakdown a compound into two molecules.

This diagram shows Hydrolysis. An enzyme, as well as H2O, is used breakdown the compound into two seperate molecules.

Energy is present is both breaking and forming of bonds. Some reactions release energy, for example hydrolysis, the digesting of polymers. When reactions release energy, it is known as Exergonic.

While some reactions release energy, others require energy. Dehydration Synthesis, the building of polymers, is an example of a chemical reaction requiring energy. These chemical reactions are known as Endergonic.

Activation Energy:

Since reactions don't just happen spontaneously, since covalent bonds are stable, energy is needed to initiate a chemical reaction. This energy is known as Activation Energy. Sometimes the amount of energy needed to destabilize a bond is too much for life. An example of this is lighting a match to burn a piece of paper, like Ms. Foglia did in class.

When there is too much activaton energy in a reaction, a catalyst can be added to reduce the amount of activation energy used to start a reaction. For a cell to reduce energy, an enzyme is added. The enzyme acts as a catalyst for the cell. As Philmore said "Call in the ENZYMES!"

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