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I am provided with the two following statements and have to prove which is true and which is false.

  1. $\ce{Cl-}$ acts as a coenzyme for amylase
  2. $\ce{Zn^2+}$ acts as a prosthetic group for carbonic anhydrase

Now, I know that statement 2 is correct.

But, I'm confused why statement 1 is wrong.

I know $\ce{Cl-}$ is the cofactor for amylase, but why is it not its coenzyme?

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  • $\begingroup$ On the wikipedia page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cofactor_(biochemistry)) a coenzyme is defined as a complex oranic cofactor, so Cl- doesn't count. Another thing that doesn't make it a coenzyme (as far as I know) is that the ion is not directly involved in the catalyzed reaction. $\endgroup$ – VonBeche Jun 11 '17 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ @VonBeche cool! Got it now. Answer that below and i'll tick it as an accepted answer. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Bob Smith Jun 11 '17 at 13:12
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On the wikipedia page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cofactor_(biochemistry)) a coenzyme is defined as a complex organic cofactor, so Cl⁻ doesn't count. Another thing that disqualifies it as a coenzyme is that the ion is not directly involved in the catalyzed reaction. This amylase contains both a calcium ion, involved in catalysis. The chloride is speculated only to be involved in differentiation between substrates, and is absent in other structures.

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A coenzyme has to be an orngsnic molecule. Organic being anything containing: carbon+ hydrogen. So as chloride ions do not have any carbon or hydrogen they are described as inorganic. The inorganic molecule which helps with the enzymes activity is called the cofactors. Therefore due to this reason chloride is a cofactor for amylase to help with formation of the active site. So essentially a coenzyme MUST be organic which chlorine is not. So it can’t be a coenzyme.

Hope this helps .

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology. Please read the Help on how to write a good answer. Your answer contains nothing to support your assertions, so how is anyone to know whether you are correct or not? Please edit your answer to provide links to support your definition. $\endgroup$ – David Dec 12 '18 at 17:26

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