You are on page 1of 2


- Whos this dude? - Hermann Emil Fischer. - Never heard of him. - He won the Nobel Prize in 1902. - OK Thats pretty cool. Why? - For his work on sugar and purine synthesis. - Nice But the title of this sheet is enzymes. - Yeah, he also worked with them too. In 1894 he wrote: Um ein Bild zu gebrauchen, will ich sagen, dass Enzym und Glucosid wie Schloss und Schlssel zu einander passen mssen, um eine chemiache Wirkung auf einander ausben zu knnen. - I dont speak German. - Fine. Ill translate: To give an illustration I will say that enzyme and glucoside must fit together like lock and key in order to be able to exercise a chemical action on each other. - So he came up with the lock & key hypothesis, nice Question: Is the enzyme the lock or the key? - Not sure...

Nicola Perscheid [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Lock and Key Hypothesis

Task: Using the information provided decide if the enzyme should be described as the lock or the key in the lock and key hypothesis What are enzymes?

How Enzymes Work

Globular proteins Biological catalysts They do not change after the reaction They are found in small quantities The are specific, they only work on one reaction The reactions are reversible Enzyme Structure 3D Structure of an enzyme determines its unique shape. Forms the active site If the active site gets deformed by high temperatures or pH changes then the enzyme wont work, it has become denatured Some molecules are inhibitors, they fit into the active site and prevent the reaction from occurring They are large molecules usually much larger than their substrates

Enzyme Action Enzymes work on specific substrates Substrate(s) have to fit in the active site