The activity of mushroom tyrosinase can be measured by monitoring the conversion of phenolic compounds into quinone derivatives using spectrophotometry. This article describes a series of experiments which characterize the functional properties of tyrosinase, the analysis of the resulting data using R to determine the kinetic parameters, and the exploration of the structural properties of tyrosinase-inhibitor complexes. Tyrosinase assay development and subsequent activity measurements, in the presence of varying pH, substrate concentration and inhibitors, offers the opportunity to learn the enzyme characterization skills relevant to a research laboratory setting. Combining the activity studies with an exploration of the nature of the tyrosinase-inhibitor interactions enables a structural understanding of the experimental observations.
- Enzymes and catalysis
- Laboratory exercises
- Protein structure function and action mechanism
- Computers in research and teaching