Many have heard me use the term “energy” when I am relating to enzymes. This is because enzymes are proteins and like worker bees always busy making things happen throughout the human body. You could not digest, sleep, speak or live without available enzymes.
Enzymes are nano-machines that are exceptionally efficient at catalyzing (causing things to happen in chemical reactions). They play a role in all your cells. Like all proteins, they are made up of amino acid chains that are folded and assembled in a very precise 3D structure. Some enzymes, are so efficient that they catalyze the transformation of chemical molecules thousands of times per second.
Now, I want to stimulate your imagination because of new research. I would like you to envision enzymes as if they are part of your life’s “Healthy Olympics”!
Enzymes are your little Olympians in your games of life, racing around cells to trigger critical processes through interactions with specific genes. Sometimes they’re sprinters, sometimes hurdlers. But they generally find their genetic targets, whatever the obstacles.
The new research at Rice University in Houston more than explains these actions. “Most previous theories assume there’s only DNA and the protein, but there’s no obstruction between the protein and its target,” Kolomeisky said. “In reality, there are obstructions, and a lot of them. Cells are very crowded systems. The surprising thing is that an enzyme protein still manages to find its target sequence efficiently. But how?”
Rice biophysicist Anatoly Kolomeisky and his team note that the enzyme seekers have to be a sprinter, alighting on DNA and probing for its target, usually finding it in milliseconds. If the target is on the other side of an obstruction, the seeker has to become a hurdler: It eventually disassociate and continues searching. But if the target falls within a segment shortened by an obstacle, the seeker finds it even faster.
Rice University. “Obstacles not always a hindrance to proteins: Researchers’ theory finds blocked path sometimes speeds DNA sequence search.” ScienceDaily, 10 December 2015.