Molecular computer graphics image of ribonuclease A, an enzyme involved in the destruction of messenger RNA (mRNA) in the cytoplasm of bacteria. At left is its substrate, shifted away from the active site. Enzymes are biological catalysts, proteins that speed up the rates of reactions within cells. Each enzyme is specific for a particular reaction; interaction occurs (typically as a weak bond) between an active site on the enzyme & a reactant (or substrate) due to the arrangement of mutually attractive groups of atoms. This image displays the molecular surface (blue) and polypeptide chain: colours are used to represent the polarity of constituent amino acids.
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