Cofactors (Enzymes)

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  • Cofactors
    • Prosthetic Groups
      • Refers to a permanently bound cofactor (with covalent bonds
      • Example: carbonic anhydrase contains zinc ion permanently bound to its active site
        • Is found in erythrocytes.
        • Catalyses inter conversion of carbon dioxide and water to carbonic acid
        • Enables carbon dioxide to be carried in the blood from respiring tissues to the lungs
    • Other Cofactors
      • Presence of certain ions that temporarily bind to enzyme/substrate molecule
        • Eases the formation of the enzyme-substrate complexes = increased rate of enzyme catalysed reaction
      • Some act of co-substrates - help form the correct shape to bind to the active site
      • Some change the charge distribution on the enzyme or substrate's surface
        • Makes temporary bonds easier to form
    • Coenzymes
      • Small, organic, non protein molecules
        • Example: Coenzymes NAD and NADP are sourced from Nicotinamide
      • Binds temporarily to the active site just before or at the same time as the substrate binds
      • Are chemically changed during the reaction - need to be recycled to original state


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