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Biochem J. Mar 1, 1994; 298(Pt 2): 303–311.
PMCID: PMC1137940

Structure identifiability in metabolic pathways: parameter estimation in models based on the power-law formalism.

Abstract

An important step in understanding a metabolic pathway is to identify its structure, in terms of the flow of material and information. In pursuing this goal, the available information for a given system is usually obtained from experiments in vitro and comes from different sources. Frequently, the final set of regulatory signals acting in the system in vivo is unclear, and some kind of test is needed on the intact system. Besides defining an appropriate experimental approach, identification of the regulatory pattern needs a theoretical framework in which the different experimental measurements can be evaluated and a final picture can be agreed on. Mathematical approaches based on sensitivity coefficients provide a useful tool for addressing this problem. Within this framework, the appropriate parameters are related to both the structure of the reaction network and the signals that regulate the target system. Thus the identification of the regulatory structure can be related to the estimation of the appropriate set of parameters. In pursuing this goal, we will show the limitations of using steady-state measurements and the usefulness of using dynamic data. We suggest a way to test the regulatory pattern in a given metabolic pathway by combining both kinds of data, and we show, by using a reference system, the potential of the method suggested.

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Selected References

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