A direct titration method for the determination of proteolytic activity is discussed. This involves the potentiometric measurement of the volume of 0.08 N NaOH required to maintain a constant pH (8.0) during the time of the hydrolysis. It is a sensitive method which presents several advantages; viz., it measures simultaneously protease and esterase activity, it follows the hydrolysis very closely and from the first stages; the titration is continuous and on the same sample. This method determines a constant fraction of the groups titratable by formol titration. The ratio formol: direct titration is represented by a factor "f" which is presumed to be distinct for each protein-enzyme system.
Kinetic studies, using this method, revealed that the rates of hydrolysis of mixtures casein-gelatin on one hand, casein-BAEE or gelatin-BAEE on the other, are always larger than those of the corresponding isolated substrates. In many cases the resulting rates are equal or nearly equal to the sum of the individual rates, even though the mentioned rates have been determined within the saturation zones for every substrate.
The former observations are inconsistent with the theory of the formation of an intermediary enzyme-substrate compound, unless it is assumed that the enzyme has a specific active group for each substrate.