Enzymes play a major role in the proper functioning of the body. The protein-laden molecules enhance the functioning by accelerating the chemical reactions in the body.
There are multiple factors that influence the enzyme activity on the substrate, yet we will cover the impact of the pH on the enzyme.
It must be noted that enzymes need proper secondary conditions like the temperature, substrate concentration, and the pH for efficient action.
Before we delve deeper into the role of pH we shall understand how the enzyme acts on the substrate. We shall also understand the role of pH in the enzyme action, which will help us to better understand how a change in pH impacts the enzyme activity.
Understanding the enzyme activity
The substrate gets attracted to the active site present in the enzyme. Using the hydrophobic and electrostatic forces, the substrate gets pulled towards the enzyme, thus forming the enzyme-substrate complex.
When there are more than two substrates, then a ternary substrate-enzyme complex is formed. On the other hand, with one substrate and one enzyme, the complex is formed as a binary complex.
It is important to note that during this event, for the chemical reaction to be successful, the enzyme should not lose its chemical structure and integrity.
It is interesting to know more about the step during which the reaction takes place between the pair. Yet, there is consistent research on this field to delve more into it.
The curve of the substrate enzyme reaction
It is important to understand that the curve of the substrate enzyme reaction is a hyperbola. The major concept here is that of the active site concept, which states that the reaction recedes at the optimum substrate concentration.
The high substrate concentration is the point at which the velocity of the enzyme reaction is maximum.
Due to the increased efficiency, specificity, and higher surface area reactivity, the enzymes are better compared to any catalysts. It is also attributed to the precision of the substrate-enzyme complex thus formed.
Role of the environment
The basic or the acidic surrounding plays a crucial role in deciding the rate of the reaction. This is where the role of the pH comes into play. pH determines the acidity and the basicity of the solvent in which the enzyme acts, thus a pH of less than 7 is considered acidic.
Extreme values of pH can be detrimental to the enzyme. Since the enzymes function in a definite pH range, it is very important that the value of the pH doesn’t change, for efficient activity.
Just like in the case of the effect of temperature, as the pH increases, there is a rise in the rate of reaction. But, after a certain pH, the enzyme’s rate of reaction starts to drop.
Denaturing of the enzymes
The enzymes start to lose their functioning as the pH increases beyond the optimal range. As the enzyme starts functioning at a higher pH, it starts to lose its protein structure and chemical integrity. This is also called denaturing of the enzymes.
Enzymes cannot be replaced by the catalysts, due to the integrity which it brings along with itself. Moreover, it is important to note that enzymes need an optimal temperature and pH for efficient functioning, in the enzyme-substrate zone.
pH plays a major role when it comes to the stability of the enzymes. The optimal stability of the enzymes is very important, as it prevents the denaturation of the enzyme too.
Other factors like ionic reaction, determine the strength of the enzyme reaction. Before the chemical reaction is studied, all the factors need to be considered for having an overall view.