The enzyme maltase breaks down maltose to glucose. This takes place at body temperature. Explain why maltase: 1) only breaks down maltose 2) allows this reaction to take place at normal body temperature

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon

The precise tertiary structure of maltose means it has an acitve site specific and complementary to maltose (lock and key analysis).  Once the substrate (maltose) has bound to the enzyme, maltase undergoes a conformational change that creates a better fit with the maltose molecule (induced fit model).  This produces an enzyme-substrate complex that stresses the bonds in maltose and provides an alternative pathway for the reaction to take place that requires less energy due to its lowered activation energy.  In this way maltase acts as a catalyst for the reaction, meaning it can take place at lower temperatures, including that of body temperature.

Sarah B. GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Biology tutor, Mentoring -Person...

About the author

is an online A Level Biology tutor with MyTutor studying at Bristol University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss