To begin with, enzymes are proteins that act as biological catalysts. Enzymes are found within a cell and they create chemical reactions within the body. Catalysts are substances that increase the rate of chemical reactions without undergoing a permanent chemical change. Catalysts increase the rate of chemical reactions by lowering the activation energy for chemical reactions. Enzymes bind to reactant molecules and hold them in a way that the chemical bond-forming and bond-breaking processes take place more readily.
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Proteases, to put it simply, are enzymes that break down proteins and peptides. Proteases are used for many biological functions and processes, which include digestion of ingested proteins, cell signaling, and the breakdown of old proteins. Also, proteases can be found in all forms of viruses and life. For example, if a human did not have proteases in their intestines, there would be toxicity because the human would be unable to keep yeast and bacteria out of their intestines. A lack of proteases results in a lack of acidity which creates excess alkaline in the blood which in turn leads to yeast and bacteria in the enzymes. This blog post will summarize the article discussing the UCH37 that has been recently discovered to regulate a cell’s waste management system, while also relating it to the information that has been taught so far in this biology class. Finally, a relationship between this discovery and the discovery of a new COVID-19 vaccine will be discussed.
Eric Strieter is a senior author at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and he and his team have discovered how an enzyme known as UCH37 regulates a cell’s waste management system. It had been understood for more than twenty years, that UCH37 is one of the regulatory enzymes that associates with the proteasome (a very group of proteases responsible for degrading the vast majority of proteins in a cell). The particular point of difficulty of the entire process is how complicated the modifications in ubiquitin, a compound found in living cells that plays a role in the degradation of defective and superfluous proteins, are. “In addition to modifying other proteins, ubiquitin modifies itself resulting in a wide array of chains. Some of these chains can have extensive branching. [Streiter’s team] found that UCH37 removes branchpoints from chains, allowing degradation to proceed. Branchpoints are defined as having secondary polymer chains linked to a primary backbone which results in a variety of polymer layouts. ” Cancer treatment may be able to occur based on this advancement. This is because cancer cells require the proteasome to grow, and “since UCH37 aids in clearing out proteins, it could be a possibly useful way to add to the proteasome inhibitors that have already been successful in the clinic.” Strieter and his team have also developed another method to analyzing substrates by the use of mass spectrometry, which is an analytical tool that measures the mass-to-charge ratio, to characterize the architecture of ubiquitin chains in complex mixtures. Finally, it was also discovered that UCH37 was removing branchpoints from ubiquitin chains to help degrade proteins.
This information from the article is similar to the information from this biology class. In this biology class, information on Enzymes and how a cell’s waste management works have been instructed. This article is just a way of connecting the previously learned information with each other. For example, unit one information over enzymes “[speeding] up metabolic reactions” helped me to understand the information within this article because I was able to understand that the enzyme was a protein that sped up metabolic reactions (Lecture – Enzymes). Pertaining to the cell’s waste management system, textbook information over lysosomes helped me to further understand how normal cell waste management occurs and that process allowed me to understand how another possible way of cell waste management occurs (Jane Reece 107).
This information can also be connected to the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that has just been announced to the public to have very positive results. This Pfizer vaccine is similar to the discovery by Eric Strieter and his team in that it could potentially be a cure to help solve a disease. As stated previously, the discovery of UCH37 could help to treat cancer through the fact that UCH37 clears out proteins that are used by cancer cells. COVID-19 and cancer are two conditions that have affected life on earth, and the two discoveries by the two groups of researchers help to combat against these diseases.