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How Does Temperature Affect Enzyme Activity

Temperature affects enzyme activity in one of two ways. Temperature contributes to maximum activity or no activity.

Enzymes are protein molecules that are essential to all living matter that regulates the rate of all chemical reactions in the production of specific products. The temperature of the environment affects the activity of these catalysts.

Molecules must collide for reactions to occur. Lower temperatures cause molecules to move slower and have low kinetic energy, i.e. less collisions. Higher temperatures cause molecules to move faster and have high kinetic energy, i.e. more collisions. The opportunities are greater that enzyme molecules will collide with its substrate (the one specific chemical it can react with).

Higher temperatures means the chance of activation energy is maximized. Greater kinetic energy means more collisions are possible between enzyme and substrate and the rate of enzyme’s reaction increases. However, if the temperature is too high, enzyme will lose its ability to react. Naturally, there is a temperature, which allows maximum rate of enzyme reaction. This “temperature optimum” differences for enzymes on an individual basis.

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