Enzyme catalysis (thermodynamics)
Goldberg, Robert N. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
- Equilibrium thermodynamics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Thermodynamics deals with the transformations of matter and energy that occur in chemical reactions. While much of the chemical thermodynamics literature contains the properties and reactions of simple organic and inorganic substances, attention has also turned to reactions that occur in living systems. Many reactions in living systems require the presence of enzymes (catalytic proteins) in order to proceed with sufficient speed. Enzyme-catalyzed reactions make up the majority of the reactions responsible for metabolism and for the operation of living systems. However, since a true catalyst serves only to lower the activation energy of a reaction and since the catalyst's initial and final states are the same, the thermodynamic quantities that pertain to that reaction are independent of the enzyme used to catalyze it (Fig. 1). Should the enzyme be changed as a consequence of the reaction, this change must also be accounted for in any thermodynamic calculations.
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