Enzymes are proteins that have specific activities as biological catalysts. They enable biochemical reactions changing a substrate into a different product. Enzymes are required in most of metabolic pathways. One of the main attribute of these proteins is the high specificity of their activity.
Enzymes are often very selective in their bindings. This is due to their 3D conformation that allows chemical bonds to form or not. Several models have been proposed to describe the process of affinity. One of the first was the "Lock and Key" model figuring the enzyme as the lock. It has been completed since, as the 3D structure is dynamic and enzymes often change their conformation upon binding. Moreover, enzymes can be co-activated and bear several ligands including one or more substrates. This way, it can act on a substrate allosterically. This means that a ligand may act on a site of the enzyme to activate it, while the substrate is bound to another active site. Once activated, the enzyme can create a product from the substrate, and release its activator. Some enzymes also need cofactors to work efficiently. These small molecules may be organic or inorganic. They include coenzymes such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that transport molecules to different enzymes.
Enzymes may be inhibited in different manners. In competitive inhibition, the inhibitor replaces the substrate so that the latter cannot bind to the enzyme. In non-competitive inhibition, the inhibitor binds to the enzyme without preventing the substrate but slows down the enzymatic activity. Uncompetitive inhibitor attaches to the substrate-enzyme complex and blocks its activity. Mixed inhibitor binds allosterically to prevent the activity.
As they represent key elements of many vital pathways, enzymes are especially studied. Their complex activity may be monitored thanks to the use of antibodies targeting them. Moreover, antibodies may prevent aggregation of enzymes, thus increasing their activity. On the contrary, they may also be used to diminish this activity. These antibodies have great potential in therapeutic development.
ProteoGenix offers enzymes and many antibodies targeting these proteins to sustain your research.