Explain the difference between competitive and non-competitive inhibitionThis is a featured page


  • Enzyme reaction rates can be affected by inhibitors. There are competitive inhibitors and non-competitive inhibitors.

Competitive inhibitors

  • Competitive inhibitors are so similar in structure to the substrate that they can bind to the active site, thereby preventing the substrate from binding.
  • Prontosil is a competitive inhibitor that is used as an antibiotic because it inhibits folic acid synthesis in bacteria.

Non-competitive inhibitors

  • Non-competitive inhibitors also bind to enzymes but not at the active site. When a non-competitive inhibitor binds to an enzyme it changes the enzymes shape and deactivates the active site.
  • Nerve gases like Sarin function by inactivating the enzyme ethanoyl (acetyl) cholinesterase.

Explain the difference between competitive and non-competitive inhibition - IB Biology Syllabus


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