Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Enzyme Action: Testing Catalase Activity

Introduction

Many organisms can decompose hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) enzymatically. Enzymes are globular proteins, responsible for most of the chemical activities of living organisms. They act as catalysts, substances that speed up chemical reactions without being destroyed or altered during the process. Enzymes are extremely efficient and may be used over and over again. One enzyme may catalyze thousands of reactions every second. Both the temperature and the pH at which enzymes function are extremely important. Most organisms have a preferred temperature range in which they survive, and their enzymes most likely function best within that temperature range. If the environment of the enzyme is too acidic or too basic, the enzyme may irreversibly denature, or unravel, until it no longer has the shape necessary for proper functioning.

H2O2 is toxic to most living organisms. Many organisms are capable of enzymatically destroying the H2O2 before it can do much damage. H2O2 can be converted to oxygen and water, as follows:

2{\text{ }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}} \to {\text{2 }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{O  +  }}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}

Although this reaction occurs spontaneously, enzymes increase the rate considerably. At least two different enzymes are known to catalyze this reaction: catalase, found in animals and protists, and peroxidase, found in plants. A great deal can be learned about enzymes by studying the rates of enzyme-catalyzed reactions.

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

  • Use a Gas Pressure Sensor to measure the production of oxygen gas as hydrogen peroxide is destroyed by the enzyme catalase or peroxidase at various enzyme concentrations.
  • Measure and compare the initial rates of reaction for this enzyme when different concentrations of enzyme react with H2O2.
  • Measure the production of oxygen gas as hydrogen peroxide is destroyed by the enzyme catalase or peroxidase at various temperatures.
  • Measure and compare the initial rates of reaction for the enzyme at each temperature.
  • Measure the production of oxygen gas as hydrogen peroxide is destroyed by the enzyme catalase or peroxidase at various pH values.
  • Measure and compare the initial rates of reaction for the enzyme at each pH value.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Advanced Biology with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1ADiffusion through Membranes
1BOsmosis
2AEnzyme Action: Testing Catalase Activity
2BEnzyme Action: Testing Catalase Activity
3Mitosis & Meiosis
4APlant Pigment Chromatography
4BPhotosynthesis
5ACell Respiration (CO2 and O2)
5BCell Respiration (CO2)
5CCell Respiration (O2)
5DCell Respiration (Pressure)
6ApGLO™ Bacterial Transformation
6BAnalysis of Precut Lambda DNA
6BForensic DNA Fingerprinting
7Genetics of Drosophila
8Population Genetics and Evolution
9Transpiration
10ABlood Pressure as a Vital Sign
10BHeart Rate and Physical Fitness
11Animal Behavior
12ADissolved Oxygen in Water
12BPrimary Productivity
13The Visible Spectra of Plant Pigments
14Determination of Chlorophyll in Olive Oil
15Enzyme Analysis using Tyrosinase
16Introduction to Neurotransmitters using AChE
17Macromolecules: Experiments with Protein

Experiment 02B from Advanced Biology with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Advanced Biology with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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