Drogonmeister
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Hello,
I am currently planning a lot of brief essay plans for possible titles in my exams soon approaching. I was stuck on this title a little even though it seems relatively simple at first.

'The importance of enzymes in organisms'

Can anyone think of any processes which would not be possible if digestion enzymes such as endo/exopeptidases, disaccharidases, lipase/bile salts were not present? And what would be the possible complications of this in terms of A-level content.

I have already got a few points about how repair and growth of organisms could be inhibited so need a few other consequences from having no enzymes or non-functional enzymes.

Any help is much appreciated!
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HarisMalik98
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It is a really broad question, how long are the essays? (I didn't study A-levels).

I'd start by introducing enzymes as biological catalysts and how they function; induced fit, activation energy, accelerate reactions. You could follow this up by explaining that they're ubiquitous in virtually all metabolic pathways and biochemical processes. Then, critically, emphasise how these vital reactions would be unfeasible without enzymes and, hence, that makes them essential for all life.

In the main body I imagine the best approach would be to document several vital processes that are dependent on enzymes, and mention the specific enzymes involved. I guess the amount you write about depends on how many marks the essays worth. There's so many examples to choose from: Respiration and ATP production, Muscle Contraction, Digestion, Nerve Transmission (Na/K Pump), DNA replication, Transcription and Protein Synthesis.... If you want to venture away from animals, Photosynthesis in plants, Bacteria producing Beta-lactamases to breakdown penicillins.... The list goes on. You could probably add in some nice diagrams for some of these processes too.

In the conclusion, reiterate that all the processes you've mentioned are vital for cellular and organismal function, yet are completely reliant on the presence of enzymes to function correctly; yet again showcasing how they're vital for life.

To answer your digestion question, if we lacked digestive enzymes then we would be unable to catabolise the large, complex molecules in foods into smaller, simple sugars and nutrients that we can absorb and use. We can see this naturally in people suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). In this condition, the pancreas doesn't make enough digestive enzymes and it can result in severe malnutrition. Disaccharidases break down complex sugars into simple ones, such as glucose; Proteases break down proteins into amino acids; and, lipases hydrolyse fats into glycerides and fatty acids. In all of these cases, the starting molecule is useless to us since it's too large to process. Enzymes break these molecules down into smaller molecules which we can then use for various cellular processes (e.g., amino acids: protein synthesis, glucose: respiration and lipids: membrane integrity).
Last edited by HarisMalik98; 1 month ago
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Drogonmeister
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(Original post by HarisMalik98)
It is a really broad question, how long are the essays? (I didn't study A-levels).

I'd start by introducing enzymes as biological catalysts and how they function; induced fit, activation energy, accelerate reactions. You could follow this up by explaining that they're ubiquitous in virtually all metabolic pathways and biochemical processes. Then, critically, emphasise how these vital reactions would be unfeasible without enzymes and, hence, that makes them essential for all life.

In the main body I imagine the best approach would be to document several vital processes that are dependent on enzymes, and mention the specific enzymes involved. I guess the amount you write about depends on how many marks the essays worth. There's so many examples to choose from: Respiration and ATP production, Muscle Contraction, Digestion, Nerve Transmission (Na/K Pump), DNA replication, Transcription and Protein Synthesis.... If you want to venture away from animals, Photosynthesis in plants, Bacteria producing Beta-lactamases to breakdown penicillins.... The list goes on. You could probably add in some nice diagrams for some of these processes too.

In the conclusion, reiterate that all the processes you've mentioned are vital for cellular and organismal function, yet are completely reliant on the presence of enzymes to function correctly; yet again showcasing how they're vital for life.

To answer your digestion question, if we lacked digestive enzymes then we would be unable to catabolise the large, complex molecules in foods into smaller, simple sugars and nutrients that we can absorb and use. We can see this naturally in people suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). In this condition, the pancreas doesn't make enough digestive enzymes and it can result in severe malnutrition. Disaccharidases break down complex sugars into simple ones, such as glucose; Proteases break down proteins into amino acids; and, lipases hydrolyse fats into glycerides and fatty acids. In all of these cases, the starting molecule is useless to us since it's too large to process. Enzymes break these molecules down into smaller molecules which we can then use for various cellular processes (e.g., amino acids: protein synthesis, glucose: respiration and lipids: membrane integrity).
Thanks for your detailed reply! These essays take about 40mins to write so not a super long one.
Thank you for helping me think of many more examples I could use! They are mostly all in the A-level course so would be good to write about.

For context: Half of the marks are for linking the importance of enzymes to other processes that would not occur and would be changed if enzymes were not here. I think you answered this nicely and I have taken some good ideas.
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HarisMalik98
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(Original post by Drogonmeister)
Thanks for your detailed reply! These essays take about 40mins to write so not a super long one.
Thank you for helping me think of many more examples I could use! They are mostly all in the A-level course so would be good to write about.

For context: Half of the marks are for linking the importance of enzymes to other processes that would not occur and would be changed if enzymes were not here. I think you answered this nicely and I have taken some good ideas.
No worries, glad I could contribute.

I understand where you're coming from. What I sometimes find is that, paradoxically, the simpler the question the harder the essay since it can be hard to narrow your thinking and know exactly what the question wants you to write - especially if you've only got 40 minutes.
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Chloemin
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Hello! Hope you are ok, I see you have wrote an essay on enzymes and I currently completing a question about them and there specific uses in a multitude of industrial processes and I’m wondering if you could help?

I have to discus some of the specific uses of enzymes in; the food industry, in biotechnology and in the production of household detergents.
I have point for food industry and household detergent. However I’m getting confused with biotechnology and wonder if anyone could help or guide me in the right direction?

And help would be appreciated x
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