? asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

What does the level of pH actually do to an enzyme to alter it?

I know that enzymes work best at varying pH levels, but what does that level of pH actually do to the enzyme to make it more efficient?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Over all what happens is that high level of ph denatures the enzyme.

    Think about heating for a sec (i know is not ph) for instance in a terrestrial level protein, the heat breaks the H-bounds and the protein unfolds. Keep in mind enzymes are protein themselves!

    Source(s): I am a biology graduate student!
  • 1 decade ago

    Enzymes are proteins, and like high temperatures, low pH levels may denature the protein. The pH level lets other compounds react with the protein, distorting and altering it.

  • ok, so acidity is based on hydrogen ion concentration, right? right.

    hydrogen ions have a positive charge.

    enzymes are folded together in several structures, one being where the molecule folds together, the primary structure. it's held together through weak hydrogen bonds.

    basically, the positively charged hydrogen ions interfere with these bonds and denature the enzyme, decreasing its efficiency until it doesn't do anything at all. hope this helps :)

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