Enzyme question Watch

username3186874
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#1
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So a question in my biology exam was that the enzyme Amylase (AMY1) has multiple copies. We had to use our knowledge of protein synthesis and enzyme action to explain the advantage of this for starch digestion. This was 3 marks.

Could 1 mark be for saying that more enzymes are produced because a greater variety of genes indicates that a greater number of enzymes are produced?

Thanks everyone!
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QuentinM
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Yeah, its likely that more enzymes are produced, which could lead to a greater rate of starch breakdown. Best to explain this as "it makes enzyme concentration less likely to be a limiting factor" in the breakdown, so that way you are explaining in terms of enzyme action.

Other possibilities:
*Multiple copies suggests variants-these variant enzymes may digest different parts of the amylase structure, hence improving digestion
*The digestive system has a dynamic pH-its high in the mouth (around 7), low in the stomach (around 2 at least) and high again in the intestines (around 7 again). You probably want different amylases to operate in those different pH's, in which case you will likely need multiple variant gene copies, or alternative splicing of those genes, something like that. For the record, no amylases act in the stomach, but salivary amylase and intestinal amylase operate at slightly different pH's.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by AttentionSeeker)
So a question in my biology exam was that the enzyme Amylase (AMY1) has multiple copies. We had to use our knowledge of protein synthesis and enzyme action to explain the advantage of this for starch digestion. This was 3 marks.

Could 1 mark be for saying that more enzymes are produced because a greater variety of genes indicates that a greater number of enzymes are produced?

Thanks everyone!
How about thinking about the importance of the enzyme to normal functioning - without amylase, you'd not be able to digest the major food group in the diet.

So what other benefit does having multiple copies of this enzyme have? Think about the genetics of it...
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username3186874
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(Original post by Reality Check)
How about thinking about the importance of the enzyme to normal functioning - without amylase, you'd not be able to digest the major food group in the diet.

So what other benefit does having multiple copies of this enzyme have? Think about the genetics of it...
Ahh I see! That response seems high calibre. Do you reckon I'd still get 1 mark though?
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username3186874
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(Original post by QuentinM)
Yeah, its likely that more enzymes are produced, which could lead to a greater rate of starch breakdown. Best to explain this as "it makes enzyme concentration less likely to be a limiting factor" in the breakdown, so that way you are explaining in terms of enzyme action.

Other possibilities:
*Multiple copies suggests variants-these variant enzymes may digest different parts of the amylase structure, hence improving digestion
*The digestive system has a dynamic pH-its high in the mouth (around 7), low in the stomach (around 2 at least) and high again in the intestines (around 7 again). You probably want different amylases to operate in those different pH's, in which case you will likely need multiple variant gene copies, or alternative splicing of those genes, something like that. For the record, no amylases act in the stomach, but salivary amylase and intestinal amylase operate at slightly different pH's.
Do you think I'd still get 1 mark? Thanks so much for the response!
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QuentinM
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(Original post by AttentionSeeker)
Do you think I'd still get 1 mark? Thanks so much for the response!
Depends, what was your answer exactly?
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username3186874
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(Original post by QuentinM)
Depends, what was your answer exactly?
I'm pretty sure I elaborated but all I can remember writing was that a greater number of copies of AMY1 leads to the production of a greater concentration of amylase. Would I at least get a mark for this? I can't remember what else I wrote... Thanks so much!
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QuentinM
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(Original post by AttentionSeeker)
I'm pretty sure I elaborated but all I can remember writing was that a greater number of copies of AMY1 leads to the production of a greater concentration of amylase. Would I at least get a mark for this? I can't remember what else I wrote... Thanks so much!

I imagine that SHOULD be fine. Can't guarantee it as with these things they can be really picky with wording-I would say the overall concentration should be increased, but they might not agree with that language (might prefer something like "number of enzymes"). But honestly i think you should be fine.



(Its technically a complex issue-theoretically the more copies you have suggests more expression, as based on divergent evolution on them that probably happened, the same transcription factor probably promotes transcription of all the copies, to some extent. However there is likely a tonne of regulatory elements which could make each copy get expressed less, but overall expression would be equivalent to just having one. but this stuff in italics is all stuff you might have to mention if you got this question in a degree-Far too much detail for A-level so don't worry about anything i said if you arent interested!)
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