Enzymes are proteins so they are structured to specific functions. The enzymes are “folded in a three dimensional manner which exposes some area on the surface and hides others” (Socratic).
The exposing area on the surface is the active site which allows for certain molecules to bind to it. The enzymes help to quicken reactions as they begin to make the molecule simpler so that reactions can occur faster. The lock and key theory is a way to explain an enzyme’s connection with a specific molecule or substrate.
The theory states that “only the correctly sized key (substrate) fits into the keyhole (active site) of the lock (enzyme)” (elmhurst). The enzyme is shown to only be able to work if a certain substrate is used at the active site. All organisms have chemical reactions as biological processes (Britannica). These reactions require the help of enzymes to allow for their reaction to occur faster. Enzymes also have the most efficient rate of activity at a neutral pH level. Making a solution more “acidic or alkaline will slow the reaction down” (BBC). Without the use of enzymes, many chemical reactions would have a difficult time to occur. Many reactions would be difficult without enzymes because “biochemical reactions are so slow that they would not occur under the mild conditions of temperature and pressure that are compatible with life” (NCBI).
Plants also require the aids of enzymes. Enzymes that are located in the soil help to “break down materials and convert them to available nutrition for the plants” (Plagron). There are four major enzymes within plants that carry these functions. The four enzymes are “proteases, amylases, lipases, and cellulases” (Food Enzyme Institute).
Plants go through the process of photosynthesis using a variety of enzymes, but ATPase and Rubisco are the most important (Sciencing). Amylase enzymes are any enzymes that “catalyze the hydrolysis” (Britannica) which is the splitting of a compound with the use of water. Amylase enzymes are used in plants to help “break down starches” (wiseGeek). The starches are used to convert to sugars which are then used serve the plant as an energy source.