Enzymes are substances present in the cell in small amounts that function to speed up or catalyze chemical reactions.
Enzymes are biological catalyst because they are protein molecules made up by living cells. Enzymes are vital important because in their absence, the reaction in the cell would be too slow too sustain life. Thr following are some physical properties of enzymes;-
1. Chemically, enzymes are generally globular proteins. (Some RNA molecules called ribozymes can also be enzymes. These are usually found in the nuclear region of cells.)
2. Enzymes are catalysts that breakdown or synthesize more complex chemical compounds.
3. Enzymes speed up the rate of chemical reactions because they lower the energy of activation (def), the energy that must be supplied in order for molecules to react with one another.
4. Enzymes are only present in small amounts in the cell since they are not altered during their reactions.
5. Enzymes are highly specific for their substrate. Generally there is one specific enzyme for each specific chemical reaction.
6. Each enzyme has an optimum temperature at which it works best. A higher temperature generally results in an increase in enzyme activity