Abstract

The goal of this research is to study the reaction rates of tyrosinase and pyruvate kinase under various reaction conditions. Pyruvate kinase is an enzymes found in humans and is an important energy producing enzyme involved in the metabolism of glucose. Currently, research is focused on preliminary studies of an enzyme called tyrosinase that catalyzes the formation of melanin which is a molecule that acts as protection against UV light. First the uninhibited reaction rate of tyrosinase with dopamine, L-DOPA, and caffeic acid will be studied. Then the reaction rates of the pyruvate kinase will also be investigated. Both enzymes will be studied in the presence of oxidative molecules. The interest in pyruvate kinase comes from its potential to act as a protector for other proteins necessary for cellular function against oxidative damage. When accumulated in many types of critical proteins, oxidative damage can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.