Use of the Foster-Niemann Equation in Study of the Enzymic Processes

Ivan Marković1*, Velimir Topolovec2, Branka Marković-Devčić1 and Vladimir Marić3

1PLIVA d.d., Research and Development, Prilaz baruna Filipovića 25, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2Computer Science Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, Omladinska 14, HR-51000, Rijeka, Croatia
3Department of Biochemical Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Pierottijeva 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Article history:

Received March 15, 2001
Accepted November 8, 2001

Key words:

Foster-Nieman equation, enzyme kinetics, proteinase, cellulase, β-glucosidase, amylase


The Foster-Niemann equation enables the analysis of kinetic data from long-term enzymic reactions in which products of the reaction inhibit a process. In this way the inevitable errors in estimation of initial rates, needed for reaction constants calculation, can be avoided. Initially, Foster-Niemann equation was used in reevaluation of the kinetic constants of previously studied specific substrates of α-chymotrypsin. Enzymic hydrolysis of biopolymers are very complex, and reaction products generally inhibit the reaction. Therefore, the equation was very useful both in the preliminary studies of unknown processes and in the elucidation of the reaction mechanisms. In the processes in which soluble enzyme reacts with insoluble substrate the basic Foster-Niemann equation was modified for the reactions in heterogeneous systems. Thus, the appropriate forms of the Foster-Niemann equation were employed in the study of starch, cellulose, cellobiose, barley 1,3 and 1,4-β-D-glucan and protein hydrolysis. By means of these equations the rection mechanisms were elucidated, the kinetic constants evaluated and kinetic and mathematical models of the reaction systems developed.  

*Corresponding author:
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