Site author Richard Steane
The BioTopics website gives access to interactive resource material, developed to support the learning and teaching of Biology at a variety of levels.

Animation of enzyme action

An enzyme-controlled reaction is often expressed in the following way:

substrate (or substrates) --} (goes to) product (or products) 
[enzyme name usually written above the arrow]

The substrate molecules (orange rectangle) diffuse in [from the left, as in the equation] and bind with the active site of the enzyme, which is complementary in shape (lock and key concept). This forms the enzyme-substrate complex. The change in shape and colour of the enzyme are a hint to the induced fit model of enzyme action. In all hydrolysis reactions, water (represented by the small blue rectangle) participates in the breakdown, with the release of products (red and yellow squares), which diffuse away [to the right, as in the equation]. The process continues as long as there are substrate molecules to be converted, as the enzyme molecule (green) is unchanged at the end of the reaction.

This continuous animation using stylised representations was developed to assist in the understanding of enzyme action.
Other pages on this site show the 3-dimensional structure of specific enzymes in some detail, and permit different interactive opportunities:


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