Introduction to Enzymes

Chemical Equilibrium

The study of a large number of chemical reactions reveals that most do not go to true completion. This is likewise true of enzymatically-catalyzed reactions. This is due to the reversibility of most reactions. In general:

Intro To Enzymes Figure[4]


Intro To Enzymes Figure[5]

where K+1 is the forward reaction rate constant and K-1 is the rate constant for the reverse reaction.

Combining the two reactions gives:

Intro To Enzymes Figure[6]

Applying this general relationship to enzymatic reactions allows the equation:

Intro To Enzymes Figure[7]

Equilbrium, a steady state condition, is reached when the forward reaction rates equal the backward rates. This is the basic equation upon which most enzyme activity studies are based.