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Vmax is the notation used to describe the maximum velocity at which a reaction can occur. Once Vmax is reached a reaction cannot proceed any faster, regardless of how much extra substrate is added. The relationship between the enzymes rate of reaction and the substrate is defined as the Km (Michaelas Constant) of the enzyme. Their relationship is defined by the following equation:   v = Vmax / (1 + (Km/[S]))

Vmax represents the number of substrate molecules converted into product per unit time when the enzyme is working at it's full capacity. It is therefore equal to the rate constant, kcat[1].


  1. Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Gatto GJ, Stayer L. Biochemistry. 8th Ed, New York: Kate Ahr Parker. 2015, p230.
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