Biology 2010 Student Edition

Published by Prentice Hall
ISBN 10: 9780133669510
ISBN 13: 978-0-13366-951-0

Chapter 2, The Chemistry of Life - Assessment - 2.4 Chemical Reactions and Enzymes - Understand Key Concepts/Think Critically - Page 57: 32


The lock and key analogy is used because each enzyme has specific substrates that fit into it. This is like how locks only work with a specific key. The enzyme is the lock and the substrates are the key.

Work Step by Step

This analogy is not perfect because there are often multiple substrates for each enzyme reaction. It only takes one key to turn the lock. The reaction is also taking place between the substrates themselves and not the enzyme. In the lock and key analogy, the lock is affected by the key, but in an enzyme reaction, the substrates are affected by the enzyme.
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