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4.4: Substrate Binding

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  • Another important difference between the mechanism of action of an enzyme and a chemical catalyst is that an enzyme has binding sites that not only ‘grab’ the substrate (molecule involved in the reaction being catalyzed), but also place it in a position to be electronically induced to react, either within itself or with another substrate. The enzyme itself may play a role in the electronic induction or the induction may occur as a result of substrates being placed in very close proximity to each other. Chemical catalysts have no such ability to bind substrates and are dependent upon them colliding in the right orientation at or near their surfaces.

    Figure 4.3.1: Mechanism of induced fit


    Dr. Kevin Ahern and Dr. Indira Rajagopal (Oregon State University)