MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: Why does the catalase in citrus fruits have a lower optimum acidity level?

Date: Thu Mar 15 13:42:51 2001
Posted By: Dick van Wassenaar, Analytical PROTEIN Biochemist, Unilever Research Laboratory
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 983916802.Bc

The answer to your question is relatively simple although not an exact 
answer. Assuming that all in Nature is designed to perform optimally, the 
most obvious explanation is that in order for the enzyme catalase to 
function optimally in citrus fruits it has a pH optimum that fits the 
normal condition of citrus fruits i.e. acid.
As most of the acid nature is due to citric acid it makes sense that 
catalase from citrus fruit functions best in this natural environment. So 
the only answer is that it would not make sense if it would be otherwise.
The differences inpH optima between different catalases can be explained 
that there are small differences in amino acid sequence and protein 
structure that allow the enzyme to operate at other pH then catalases from 
other sources that have optima that fit THEIR environment.

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