Vernier Software & Technology

Enzyme Activity

Introduction

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.

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:

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

Although this reaction occurs spontaneously, enzymes increase the rate considerably. Catalase, a common enzyme that is found in the cells of nearly all living organisms, catalyzes the decomposition of H2O2. A great deal can be learned about enzymes by studying the rates of enzyme-catalyzed reactions.

Objectives

In the Preliminary Activity, you will use catalase in yeast to catalytically decompose hydrogen peroxide. You will determine the rate of enzyme activity by measuring the pressure of oxygen gas produced as H2O2 is decomposed.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about enzymes and enzyme activity before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with enzyme activity.

Sensors and Equipment

This investigation features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 2

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

Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry

See other experiments from the lab book.

 1 Physical Properties of Water 2 Baking Soda and Vinegar Investigations 3 An Investigation of Urea-Containing Cold Packs 4 Conductivity of Aqueous Solutions 5 Identifying a Pure Substance 6 Investigating the Energy Content of Foods 7 Investigating the Energy Content of Fuels 8 Evaporation and Intermolecular Attractions 9 Enthalpy Changes 10 Reaction Stoichiometry 11 Beer's Law Investigations 12 Colligative Properties of Solutions 13 Long Term Water Monitoring 14 Vapor Pressure and Heat of Vaporization Investigations 15 Acid-Base Properties of Household Products 16 The Effect of Acid Deposition on Aqueous Systems 17 Acid-Base Titrations 18 Conductimetric Titrations 19 Oxidation-Reduction Titrations 20 Investigating Voltaic Cells 21 Baking Soda and Vinegar Investigations Revisited 22 Reaction Rates 23 Enzyme Activity 24 Sugar Fermentation by Yeast 25 Nuclear Radiation

Investigation 23 from Investigating Chemistry through Inquiry Lab Book

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.