Effect of pressure on enzyme reactions

Andrew, Tel. +39-6-91093434 WALLACE at IRBM.IT
Thu Jul 22 07:29:36 EST 1993

Dear Peter,
You write:

>I'd be grateful for any information about whether high-pressure can affect (a)
>the speed and/or (b) the equilibrium of an enzyme-catalysed reaction, and if

I don't know if pressure can affect the speed of an enzyme-catalysed reaction
but it should alter the equilibrium position since the enthalpy change involved
in the reaction depends on pressure

	delta H   =   delta E  +  P deltaV

where H is the enthalpy, E is the energy of the system, P is the pressure
and V is the volume of a system (not considering changes in the surroundings).

>so, what pressures are required in practice to make a useful contribution.  If
>this is a well-researched field, I'd be very grateful for pointers to reviews.

This (is/used to be) a fairly well-researched field in the context of fast
reaction kinetics. Sudden, large pressure changes were used to perturb a 
system at equilibrium and fast reaction monitoring took place while the system
adjusted to the new equilibrium position. Nowadays this kind of thing is more
usually done by temperature-jump methods as far as I know. You might try 
looking in some of the enzyme kinetics books/articles by Alan Fersht for
pointers to suitable literature, since I can't recall anything offhand that
would be relevant to your particular question.

Andrew Wallace
Department of Biochemistry
IRBM, Pomezia, Italy
<wallace at irbm.it>

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