The Great Respiration Caper, Episode 16

Okay, sports fans, this page was the biggest challenge so far. This one packed a double whammy of difficulty: design and science.

From the design side, I wanted to capture the size of pyruvate dehydrogenase (it is one of the biggest enzymes in nature). I think PD’s magnitude compared to Wilbur and Edna gets this across. I also wanted to illustrate that  this is an enzyme complex that conducts multiple, sequential reactions. To that end PD has three pairs of arms. I tried to capture the sequential aspect by moving from the top set of arms down as the reader moves through the page. The one design element that I really like is that reactants are in the left hand, the the hands come to gether for the enzymatic stuff and the products are in the right hand. Let me know if this works.

As far as the science is concerned, I did my best to get the sets of reaction correct but I’m filled with trepidation. I wanted this to be at no higher level than a text book (and it isn’t even that high) but I want to be as accurate as possible. So, I’m counting all of you with a deeper understanding of the biochemistry and molecular biology of pyruvate dehydrogenase to help me refine and correct. Please chime in below with thoughts and suggestions. (“Good Enoughs” and “Nice Jobs” are also welcome if appropriate).

And now, without any further ado, sit back and enjoy the molecular magic and enzymatic sleight of hand of pyruvate dehydrogenase.

You can read the whole story here.