Enzymes are protein molecules that are necessary to cellular processes and are potential pharmacological targets for the treatment of various diseases. The purpose of an enzyme is to act as a catalyst and lower the activation energy needed to carry out a biochemical reaction, often greatly increasing the rate of a reaction as well. Most enzyme names have the suffix “-ase” attached to the substrate of the reaction or to describe the action performed. Enzymes assist in converting a given substrate into a different product. This process may result in breaking down an existing molecule (catabolism) into more basic components or, through synthesis, the combination and creation of a larger product (anabolism). When the substrate, and other molecules, interacts with the enzyme at its active site, a conformational (or allosteric) change in the enzyme’s shape may occur to influence (induce or inhibit) the activity of the enzyme. Factors potentially affecting enzyme specificity for a...
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