What Is the Michaelis Constant?


Quick Answer

The Michaelis constant is the measure of substrates concentration required for catalysis to effectively occur in reactions that obey Michaelis-Menten kinetics. This constant is a powerful tool to use in analyzing enzyme activity.

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Full Answer

The size of the Michaelis constant shows several characteristics about a given enzyme. When it is small in value, it shows that an enzyme only requires a minimal amount of the substrate for it to become saturated. On the other hand, a larger value indicates that the enzyme requires a high substrate concentration in order for the reaction to achieve maximum velocity. Substrates in which an enzyme acts as a catalyst, and have the lowest Michaelis constant value, are assumed to be the natural substrate of the enzyme.

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