The importance of enzymes is the underlying theme of this topic at A level, in terms of their ability to catalyse a wide range of intracellular and extracellular reactions which can affect the functions from the cellular level to whole organism level. Knowledge of the function of enzymes and the factors which affect their action has led not only to a greater understanding of biological processes, but also to the use of enzymes in a wide range of industrial processes. Students will be required to give examples of enzymes that catalyse intracellular and extra cellular reactions.

It is also a requirement that students not only understand the model of enzyme action, but have an appreciation of how this has changed over time from the lock and key to the induced fit model. Students will need to be able to explain the lowering of activation energy, the need for coenzymes in some enzyme-controlled reactions and the possible mechanisms of enzyme inhibition.

There are a plethora of experiments that can be included within this topic, practical investigations into the effects of PH, temperature, enzyme concentration and substrate concentration on enzyme activities are all possibilities. Students need to be able to confidently interpret graphical data from such experiments.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or other recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.