LESSON 1: Basic Chemistry
Atoms & Ions | Chemical Bonding | Water | Acid & Bases | Organic Compounds | Carbohydrates | Lipids | Proteins | Enzymes | Nucleic Acids | ATP


Enzymes are proteins specifically shaped to carry out special functions in cells:

  • They accelerate the rate of chemical reactions necessary for life.
  • They need many enzymes as each specific reaction needs a specific enzyme.
  • Any changes in their shape will effectively stop chemical reactions.

Proper protein function depends on correct 3D structure. This is especially important for enzyme activity:

  • Enzymes are vital to proper cell function.
  • Defects include sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis.

Enzymes take a Substrate and convert it into a new Product (see illustration to the right.)