What Happens to the Enzyme Activity if You Put in More Substrate?

The catalase enzyme can rapidly convert this hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.
••• Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Enzymes -- proteins with the ability to catalyze biological reactions -- have the amazing capability to work at mindboggling speeds. A few notable examples can process thousands of reactions every second. The speedy catalase reaction can even be seen with the naked eye -- just add some enzyme to hydrogen peroxide, and the liquid will immediately begin to bubble. Does this mean, then, that every time substrate concentration is increased, the enzymes will react by boosting activity speed?

The Concept of Maximum Velocity

Many enzymes process tens or hundreds of reactions every second instead of thousands. Initially, a higher substrate concentration will increase enzyme activity, but when the enzymes become saturated, there is no further increase in processing activity no matter how much substrate is present. This point is called the maximum velocity -- on an activity graph of velocity versus substrate concentration, the activity line levels off horizontally as it approaches maximum velocity. To recap, you can increase enzyme activity by boosting substrate concentration, but only up to the enzyme’s maximum velocity.

Related Articles

Enzyme Model Science Projects
PH Levels of Catalase
Three Variables That Can Affect Activities of an Enzyme
How to Calculate Km
The Effects of Temperature on Enzyme Activity and Biology
How to Calculate Vmax Lineweaver
Role of Enzymes in Chemical Reactions
What Are the Two Ways to Inhibit Enzyme Activity?
What Are the Effects of Boiling & Freezing on Enzyme...
Role of Enzymes in Cellular Respiration
How Does pH Level Affect Enzyme Activity?
Activation Energy of the Iodine Clock Reaction
How to Calculate Kcat
Different Types of Enzymes
What Kinds of Chemicals Will Speed up the Action of...
What Happens to Enzyme Activity if the pH Is Unfavorable?
Name One Way to Decrease the Rate of Solvation
What Are Two Ways That Enzymes Become Less Effective?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!