|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Catalase is found in all animal organs, particularly in the liver. The enzyme is also found in plant tissues and in nearly all aerobic microorganisms. A large number of catalase enzymes have been found in bacteria. A unique and interesting example of the biological use of this enzyme occurs in the bombardier beetle. The beetle uses a peroxidase to synthesize a quinone which causes a stinging sensation when sprayed on its victim. The beetle delivers this noxious liquid using the very exothermic catalase reaction to generate steam as the propellant.
If you can locate the book “Plant Peroxidases. Biochemistry and Physiology” edited by K. G. Welinder, S. K. Rasmussen, C. Penel and H. Greppin (1993, University of Copenhagen and University of Geneva), it contains a brief review on catalases on pages 103-112 which was written by A. Hochman.
If you need to obtain the purified enzyme for your experiments, you can try to isolate it yourself or find a commercial source. There are a number of companies which supply purified enzymes, often from a number of different biological sources. Search the web for biochemical supply companies; a number of these companies have good web sites.
Best of luck with your experiments.
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