Science is a Process, not an Object.

Advanced Honors Biology

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Enzyme Cofactors

Many enzymes use "cofactors" to help carry out their function. The one above is a "Heme." We will see a lot of these and similar structures. The ring is called a porphyrin ring. A heme is a porphyrin ring with an iron in it. The iron can carry oxygen molecules. We discussed hemoglobin earlier. That protein carries oxygen in your blood. Or, to be more correct, that protein carries a 4 heme groups, each of which carries an iron, each of which carries oxygen.
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Enolase detail

I thought getting into the mechanism…even just the idea of a mechanism…would be useful. This is a bit of a deep dive into the mechanism of enolase in glycolysis. This enzyme catalyzes the step right before pyruvate kinase, the second "pay-off" or substrate-level phosphorylation step.
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In some sense, all science comes down to understanding energy. If someone ever asks you why something happens, you can answer: "The second law of thermodynamics." It's never wrong, but also may not be very helpful unless you can make the connection to more local causes. This is the beginning of the discussion, with a biological theme.
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A common theme in biology is how large "macromolecules" from subunits, usually known as monomers. Really, I'm underselling this point. You will see it over and over for the next several months.
Two linked together is a "dimer," three is a get the idea. We usually get lazy after "tetramer" and start calling them "oligomer" for groups that are in the range of 5-10 and then "polymer," when you get to many units…hundreds or thousands…even more. Hey…one common organic compound we will get to know is known as an "ester." What do you think we call a fiber made of many of these linked together?
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