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Question Video: Categorizing a Protein by its Structure Biology

Catalase is a protein containing four heme groups, and it breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen in the body. Using the table provided, what group of proteins does catalase most likely belong to?

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Video Transcript

Catalase is a protein containing four heme groups, and it breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen in the body. Using the table provided, what group of proteins does catalase most likely belong to?

Proteins can be classified into groups based on their structure. Here, we have three examples of these groups: globular, conjugated, and fibrous. To identify which group catalase could be classified into, let’s take a look at its key characteristics and match them to the table provided.

The question tells us that catalase contains four heme groups. A heme group is a metal complex associated with some proteins, which has iron at the center. You may remember the protein hemoglobin that is found in your red blood cells, which also contains heme groups. Heme groups are a non-amino-acid component of a protein. The general term given to non-amino-acid components that are associated with the structure of a protein is a prosthetic group. So far, it looks like catalase should be classified as a conjugated protein, but let’s just check the other two options are incorrect.

The description we are provided with does not mention that catalase is a compact or spherical protein. We can assume that catalase is unlikely to be water soluble, as water is a product of the reaction it catalyzes. The description also does not mention that catalase is a long protein with a repetitive structure. So we can assume that the group of proteins catalase most likely belongs to is conjugated.

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