How do bacteria distinguish enantiomers?

1 Answer
Write your answer here...
Start with a one sentence answer
Then teach the underlying concepts
Don't copy without citing sources


Write a one sentence answer...



Explain in detail...


I want someone to double check my answer

Describe your changes (optional) 200

Oct 7, 2015

Bacteria can distinguish enantiomers because the enzymes in bacteria are chiral.

Bacteria release enzymes to break down substances, and these enzymes consist of amino acids.

Amino acids are chiral. So the receptor sites on the enzymes have a specific shape that fits one enantiomer of a substrate much better than the other.

Molecules with receptor sites from

One enantiomer then undergoes an enzyme-catalyzed reaction much faster than the other.

Was this helpful? Let the contributor know!
Impact of this question
Answer impact map
98 views around the world
You can reuse this answer
Creative Commons License