Enzymes are an integral part of the day-to-day activities of the body. They help in regulating the speed of the biochemical reactions; thus, the protein-laden enzymes help in improving the daily functioning of the body.
Yet, it must be interesting to note the action of the enzymes when treated under different conditions. Factors like increased pH, temperature, and concentration of substrate enhance or degrade the rate of reaction.
In this article, we shall explore the affect of the temperature on the enzymes. It gives us a brief into understanding what happens within the enzymes as the temperature is increased.
Meaning of Rate of Reaction
Understanding the rate of reaction is important to know how temperature impacts the enzymes. It depends on the amount of the substrate which is being used up by the enzyme.
The substrate, here, refers to the material on which the enzymes act chemically, to break them down into simpler substances.
If the time taken for the reaction is less, the rate of the chemical reaction increases.
There are numerous factors that affect the rate of the chemical reaction. Out of all the factors, temperature increases the rate of the chemical reaction.
Effect of temperature on the enzyme activity
There is no consistent effect of temperature on the rate of the chemical reaction. As the temperature increases, the rate of reaction first increases linearly.
As the temperature increases up to a certain point, there is an increase in the rate of the chemical reaction. But, after a certain temperature, the rate of the chemical reaction starts to decrease.
Thus, it further reinstates the fact that an optimum temperature is needed for the chemical reaction to perform efficiently.
Reason for a sharp fall in the rate of reaction after critical temperature
As the temperature rises beyond the critical temperature, there are changes in the active site of the enzyme. These changes in the active site result in the denaturing of the enzymes.
Denaturation is the loss of the structural integrity of the protein on the external application of stress/strain on the enzyme.
A denatured enzyme is unable to act to its highest potential. This is the reason why the enzymes fail to act beyond the critical temperature, thus reducing the rate of chemical reactions.
Other factors affecting the rate of reaction
Though the temperature is a major factor affecting the rate of reaction, there are other factors that play an important role.
Factors like the pH and the concentration of the substrate play a vital role in the rate of the chemical reaction. The active site of an enzyme is the major site where the reaction takes place.
As the pH increases, the active site’s configuration changes. This is why certain enzymes work perfectly in certain pH conditions. Yet, the location of the enzymes is important in determining the right pH for the enzyme to act.
With the rise in the pH, the rate of enzyme reaction increases, though, at pH = 8, it reaches the maximum activity. Post that, there is a steep fall in enzyme activity.
As the surface area of the active sites to the substrate increases, there is an increase in the chemical reaction.
But it doesn’t always happen.
As the concentration of the substrate reaches a certain level, the rate of reaction doesn’t change any further, thus remains the same.
For any enzyme activity to take place, it is necessary to maintain the important factors that will help in keeping the chemical reaction rate in check. A proper rate of chemical reaction ensures that the bodily functions are well maintained, thus balanced.