Document Detail

A simple classroom teaching technique to help students understand Michaelis-Menten kinetics.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17146042     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A new, simple classroom technique helps cell biology students understand principles of Michaelis-Menten enzyme kinetics. A student mimics the enzyme and the student's hand represents the enzyme's active site. The catalytic event is the transfer of marbles (substrate molecules) by hand from one plastic container to another. As predicted, increases in marble concentration increase the number of marbles transferred per unit time (initial rate, V(0)) until the turnover number becomes rate limiting and V(0) approaches the maximum velocity (V(max)), as described by the Michaelis-Menten equation. With this demonstration, students visualize an important concept: the turnover number is constant and independent of marble concentration. A student assessment of this exercise showed that it helped students visualize the turnover number and V(max) but not K(m), the marble concentration at which V(0) is one-half V(max). To address the concept of K(m), we use supplemental laboratory and lecture exercises. This exercise with plastic containers and marbles is equally suited to demonstrate the kinetics of carrier-mediated membrane transport. We conclude that this exercise helps students visualize the turnover number and V(max) and gives students important insights into the kinetic parameters used to characterize the catalytic activity of enzymes and membrane transporters.
Steven W Runge; Brent J F Hill; William M Moran; Julio F Turrens
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  CBE life sciences education     Volume:  5     ISSN:  1931-7913     ISO Abbreviation:  CBE Life Sci Educ     Publication Date:  2006  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-12-05     Completed Date:  2006-12-11     Revised Date:  2009-12-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101269039     Medline TA:  CBE Life Sci Educ     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  348-52     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR 72035-5003, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Biochemistry / education*
Enzymes / metabolism*
Models, Chemical
Teaching / methods*
Reg. No./Substance:

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