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Biology Matters G.C.E.

'O' Level (2nd Edition): Textbook Answers Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Enzymes

Test Yourself 5.1 (page 76)

1. An enzyme is a biological catalyst made of protein. It alters the rate of a chemical

reaction without itself being chemically changed at the end of the reaction.

2. Yes, the statement is valid. Large, insoluble molecules such as starch, fats and proteins
cannot diffuse through the cell surface membrane. They must first be converted into
simpler, smaller substances, which are soluble and diffusible.

3. Meat contain mostly proteins, hence we can infer that this enzyme acts on proteins. The
enzyme could soften meat by breaking down some of the proteins into peptides or amino

4. A very rapid, violent chemical reaction would take place, with a thick layer of foam
produced. Water and oxygen are produced when catalase in the red blood cells breaks
down hydrogen peroxide.

Investigation 5.1 (page 81)

Refer to Investigation 4.2B of the practical book for the graph shape.
At very low temperatures, diastase is inactive. The activity of diastase increases as the
temperature increases. However, beyond a certain optimum temperature, enzyme activity
decreases. Diastase is denatured at very high temperatures.

Investigation 5.2 (page 82)

1. The protein contained in egg white would be digested to a soluble product (as in test
tube A). There will be no change if the contents in the test tube are alkaline (as in test
tube C). Hence, pepsin works in acidic conditions and not in alkaline conditions.

2. Test tube B is a control. It shows that it is the pepsin that digested the egg white protein.
Test tube D shows that pepsin is inactivate in neutral conditions.

3. Test tube B (heat-treated pepsin is a denatured enzyme)

Test Yourself 5.2 (page 85)

(a) Yes, we can use enzymes that convert chemical A to chemical B at high temperatures.
(b) In the bodies of organisms that survive at high temperatures, e.g. thermophilic
(c) Heat chemical A to 80C with the temperature-resistant enzymes extracted from
thermophilic microorganisms. Chemical B will be obtained with no unwanted compounds

Get It Right (page 86)

(a) False
Enzymes are biological catalyst, mainly made of proteins.
(b) False
Enzymes work by lowering activation energy.
(c) True
(d) False
Denaturation decreases enzyme activity.

© 2013 Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) Private Limited

Biology Matters G.C.E. 'O' Level (2nd Edition): Textbook Answers Chapter 5

Let’s Review (page 87)

Section A: Multiple-Choice Questions

1. D
2. C
3. A

Section B: Structured Questions

1. Enzyme specificity is due to their three-dimensional shape or surface configuration. Each

enzyme has an active site. Only substrate with shape complimentary to that of the active
site can fit into the active site to form an enzyme–substrate complex, just like how a key
fits into a lock.

2. Any three of the following characteristics:

– Enzymes speed up chemical reactions.
– Enzymes are specific in their action.
– Enzymes are affected by temperature.
– Enzymes are affected by pH.
– Enzymes catalyse reversible reactions.

3. (a) The enzymes would digest the proteins and fats, turning them into smaller
water-soluble molecules such as amino acids, fatty acids and glycerol, which
dissolve in the washing water.
(b) The enzymes would be denatured at higher temperatures (more than 45ºC).
Washing at low temperatures also saves on energy needed to heat the
washing water to higher temperatures.
(c) The enzymes in the powder would become denatured at high temperatures.
Proteins and fats on the clothes would be removed less efficiently, leaving
the dirt or stain behind.
(d) The enzymes from the bacteria in hot springs work at high temperatures, i.e.
they are not denatured at higher temperatures of 70–80C. Using the
enzymes from these bacteria would enable the production of biological
washing powders that work effectively at high temperatures.

Section C: Free-Response Questions

1. Refer to ‘Lock-and-key hypothesis’ in Section 5.2.

2. Refer to ‘Enzymes are affected by temperature’ in Section 5.2.

© 2013 Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) Private Limited