About and beyond the henri-michaelis-menten rate equation for single-substrate enzyme kinetics

Željko Bajzer, Emanuel E. Strehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


For more than a century the simple single-substrate enzyme kinetics model and related Henri-Michaelis-Menten (HMM) rate equation have been thoroughly explored in various directions. In the present paper we are concerned with a possible generalization of this rate equation recently proposed by F. Kargi (BBRC 382 (2009) 157-159), which is assumed to be valid both in the case that the total substrate or enzyme is in excess and the quasi-steady-state is achieved. We demonstrate that this generalization is grossly inadequate and propose another generalization based on application of the quasi-steady-state condition and conservation equations for both enzyme and substrate. The standard HMM equation is derived by (a) assuming the quasi-steady-state condition, (b) applying the conservation equation only for the enzyme, and (c) assuming that the substrate concentration at quasi-steady-state can be approximated by the total substrate concentration [S] 0. In our formula the rate is already expressed through [S] 0, and we only assume that when quasi-steady-state is achieved the amount of product formed is negligible compared to [S] 0. Numerical simulations show that our formula is generally more accurate than the HMM formula and also can provide a good approximation when the enzyme is in excess, which is not the case for the HMM formula. We show that the HMM formula can be derived from our expression by further assuming that the total enzyme concentration is negligible compared to [S] 0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)982-985
Number of pages4
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 20 2012


  • Enzyme excess
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Michaelis-Menten rate equation
  • Quasi-steady-state
  • Substrate excess

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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