P50 (pressure)

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In biochemistry, P<sub>50</sub> indicates the partial pressure of a gas required to achieve 50% enzyme saturation. corresponding to high affinity and vice versa. The term is analogous to the Michaelis-Menten constant (K<sub>m</sub>), which identifies the concentration of substrate required for an enzyme to achieve 50% of its maximum reaction velocity.

For example, the P<sub>50</sub> of myoglobin for O<sub>2</sub> is 130 pascal while the P<sub>50</sub> for adult hemoglobin is 3.5 kPa. Thus, when O<sub>2</sub> partial pressure is low, hemoglobin-bound O<sub>2</sub> is more readily transferred to myoglobin. Myoglobin, found in high concentrations in muscle tissue, can then transfer the oxygen to muscle fibers, where it will be used in the generation of energy to fuel muscle contraction.


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