We have developed a computer method based on artificial-intelligence techniques for qualitatively analysing steady-state initial-velocity enzyme kinetic data. We have applied our system to experiments on hexokinase from a variety of sources: yeast, ascites and muscle. Our system accepts qualitative stylized descriptions of experimental data, infers constraints from the observed data behaviour and then compares the experimentally inferred constraints with corresponding theoretical model-based constraints. It is desirable to have large data sets which include the results of a variety of experiments. Human intervention is needed to interpret non-kinetic information, differences in conditions, etc. Different strategies were used by the several experimenters whose data was studied to formulate mechanisms for their enzyme preparations, including different methods (product inhibitors or alternate substrates), different experimental protocols (monitoring enzyme activity differently), or different experimental conditions (temperature, pH or ionic strength). The different ordered and rapid-equilibrium mechanisms proposed by these experimenters were generally consistent with their data. On comparing the constraints derived from the several experimental data sets, they are found to be in much less disagreement than the mechanisms published, and some of the disagreement can be ascribed to different experimental conditions (especially ionic strength).

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