MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: Catalase activity in various cells

Date: Thu Nov 12 08:33:00 1998
Posted By: Jim Mullaney, Secondary School Teacher, Chemistry / Biology, Mandurah Catholic College
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 910643766.Bc

In answer to the first part of your question, there should be no 
difference between catalase obtained from animal and plant sources. The 
reaction catalysed is the same in both instances, that is the 
decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen gas and water. 

The answer to your second part is a bit trickier. Certainly, in animal 
tissue, one would expect the liver to be the best source of catalase 
activity as it is the primary metabolic site in the body. In plant cells, 
storage organs are high in catalase activity, so the potato is likely to 
have the highest activity of the plant tissues, but would not produce as 
much as the liver.

If you do the experiment, you find that liver will produce by far the most 
gas, especially if it is ground up. Boiling any of the samples will reduce 
the activity to almost zero as the enzymes are denatured at high 

Hope this is of some help


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