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allosteric effectors

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by m25, Sep 20, 2014.

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  1. m25


    May 28, 2014
    When allosteric effectors bind to allosteric sites on enzyme, are they binding covalently or noncovalently, or can it bind either way?
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  3. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor 7+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    It is a noncovalent (and therefore reversible). Remember there are no absolutes in biology as you seem to want to believe- so generally think of it as noncovalent.

    In cell biology, "binding" of one molecule to another is nearly always non-covalent. An exception is enzymatic reactions where transient intermediates form.

    However, certain protein modifications, which can occur on allosteric sites, are covalent modifications (such as phosphorylation); this would not be referred to as "binding" of phosphate to the protein- it would be called a covalent modification or post-translational modification. Protein modifications (ie: post-translational modifications) are not, strictly speaking, considered allosteric effectors (which refers to diffusible molecules that non-covalently associate with a site on the protein that is NOT the active site to modify the enzymatic activity of that protein).

    Simple, huh?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

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