Characterization of a metabolic enzyme - ADH alcohol dehydrogenase

The alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) has several functions in our metabolism. ADH detoxifies the blood by degrading alcohol and converts vitamins (e. g. vitamin A) into storable forms. In bacteria ADH catalyses the conversion from pyruvate (product of sugar metabolism) to alcohol (fermentation) under anaerobic conditions. In parallel to the alcohol synthesis NADH is convertetd to NAD. Since NADH and NAD absorb light at different wavelengths the kinetics of the reaction can be measured by a photometer.
On the basis of the ADH-recation the students understand and record several important functional aspects of an enzyme. Depending on the schedule the dependence of the kinetic of different concentrations of alcohol may be investigated chemically and biochemically (Simulation of a blood-alcohol test). Also the substrate specifity and several types of inhibition (enzyme regulation) may be determined as well as the maximal speed of the reaction, the Michaelis-Menten-Constant, and the enzyme activity.

Duration: 1 day
Number of participants: Max. 24

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