Enzymes are proteins which can catalyse nonspontaneous reactions.
A specific enzyme can speed up the rate of a thermodynamically possible reaction. Biological catalysts. Enzymes couple exergonic reactions to drive endergonic ones. These reactions usually (?) involve electron transfers by electron carriers.
- Essential because most chemical reactions necessary for life processes would spontaneously proceed too slowly
- Affect the rate by lowering the activation energy
- Remain unaltered by the reaction they catalyse
Why is it an advantage that most chemical reactions needed for life proceed only very slowly in the absence of enzymes?