New types of experimental data shape the use of enzyme kinetics for dynamic network modeling

FEBS J. 2014 Jan;281(2):549-71. doi: 10.1111/febs.12525. Epub 2013 Nov 4.


Since the publication of Leonor Michaelis and Maude Menten's paper on the reaction kinetics of the enzyme invertase in 1913, molecular biology has evolved tremendously. New measurement techniques allow in vivo characterization of the whole genome, proteome or transcriptome of cells, whereas the classical enzyme essay only allows determination of the two Michaelis-Menten parameters V and K(m). Nevertheless, Michaelis-Menten kinetics are still commonly used, not only in the in vitro context of enzyme characterization but also as a rate law for enzymatic reactions in larger biochemical reaction networks. In this review, we give an overview of the historical development of kinetic rate laws originating from Michaelis-Menten kinetics over the past 100 years. Furthermore, we briefly summarize the experimental techniques used for the characterization of enzymes, and discuss web resources that systematically store kinetic parameters and related information. Finally, describe the novel opportunities that arise from using these data in dynamic mathematical modeling. In this framework, traditional in vitro approaches may be combined with modern genome-scale measurements to foster thorough understanding of the underlying complex mechanisms.

Keywords: Michaelis-Menten kinetics; databases for kinetics; history of rate laws; mathematical modeling; network related approach; parameter estimation; sensitivity analysis; standardization; systems biology; use of omics data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Enzyme Assays / methods
  • Enzyme Assays / standards
  • Enzymes / chemistry*
  • Kinetics
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Chemical
  • Reference Standards


  • Enzymes