Catalyst

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Michelle Phillips/Daily

 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 6:18pm
My whole life I had been told
That there was but one substrate I could hold
A substrate in every way perfect for me
Together an enzyme-substrate complex we would be
 
Oh how I dreamt of her every night
Desperate to fill the void in my active site
For a time I didn’t mind the wait
Knowing somewhere out there was my structural mate
 
But time grew cruel, and I began to question my conformation
Was it possible that mine was a mutation
What if there was no product for this reaction
No substrate with whom I could share my attraction
 
Was mine a lineage without nomenclature
One destined for a slow denature
 
I had been burned before
A competitive inhibitor known only as whore
She’d taken my active site
For which she had no reason but spite
 
My faith was waning,
My beta pleats tired from straining
But then I remembered what my RNA had said
Perhaps I wasn’t better off dead
 
See he had told me of a way to adapt
A way to harness my potential that remained untapped
All I needed was to induce a fit
I could find another substrate to permit
 
And so I did, a dazzling 6 carbon carbohydrate
Though she could easily have been an eight
Like a lock and key we meshed
I’d never felt so blessed
 
Yet as quickly as she had come, she left
Leaving behind an empty cleft
I was devastated until I saw
A grand sucrose without a flaw
 
I soon learned, that together glucose and me
Had created something of a larger degree
Our love had given the world a disaccharide
And I couldn’t feel a thing but pride
 
Love I had learned was fleeting
But with a little heating
It would find me again soon
Another substrate to make swoon