The Effect Of P H On The Activity Of The Enzyme Amylase

1658 words - 7 pages

The Effect of pH on the Activity of the Enzyme Amylase

Aim :-

To find the effect of pH on the activity of the enzyme amylase.

An enzyme is a type of protein found in all living cells. Enzymes act
as biological catalysts, breaking down substrates without needing a
high temperature, allowing all the chemical reactions of metabolism to
take place, regulating the speed at which they progress, lowering the
activation energy and providing a means of controlling individual
biochemical pathways.

Enzymes owe their activity to the precise three-dimensional shape of
their molecules. According to the 'lock-and-key' hypothesis, the
substrates upon which an enzyme fit into a special slot in the enzyme
molecule: the active site. A chemical reaction takes place at this
site (hydrolysis - the addition of water in order to break a peptide
bond between two amino acids) and the products are released, leaving
the enzyme unchanged and ready for re-use. Enzymes are very specific
in relation to the substrates with which they work, and are normally
only effective for one reaction or a group of closely related
reactions. They function best in particular conditions of temperature
and acidity (pH), and their action can be slowed or stopped by

Extracted from 'Oxford interactive Encyclopedia' by TLC

The graph shows that when the pH is changed the reaction rate of the
enzyme changes too. As an example from the graph above, Trypsin at a
pH of 4 the reaction rate is zero. As the pH increases towards pH 12,
the reaction rate increases until it peaks at pH 8 where the reaction
rate is at it's optimum. Beyond the peak the reaction rate begins to
decrease towards zero until it reaches a pH of 11 when the reaction
rate is zero.

pH is a measure of how acidic a chemical is. The acidity of a chemical
is determined by how concentrated the chemical is with Hydrogen ions.

This is describe in an example

Loses H Gains H

Alkaline solution Acidic Solution


Overall Negative charge "Zwitterion" Overall Positive charge

lost H so makes solution No change gained H so makes solution

more acidic. less acidic.

As the solution becomes more concentrated with hydrogen ions the more
effective it is on taking up the R (residual) group on amino acids:
Lys, Arg, His, Asp and Glu. This affects the way in which they bond
with each other therefore affect their 3D arrangement. So if the ionic
bonds are important to structural stability, then the shape of the
enzyme will change which in turn affects the functionality of the

As a type of protein, enzymes are easily affected by changes in pH. At
their optimum pH the shape of the enzyme is such the active site can
fit perfectly with the substrate. As the pH deviates, either decrease

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