Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 1999 Nov 18;402(6759):320-2.

Sustained oscillations in living cells.

Author information

Department of Chemistry and CATS, H.C. Orsted Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Glycolytic oscillations in yeast have been studied for many years simply by adding a glucose pulse to a suspension of cells and measuring the resulting transient oscillations of NADH. Here we show, using a suspension of yeast cells, that living cells can be kept in a well defined oscillating state indefinitely when starved cells, glucose and cyanide are pumped into a cuvette with outflow of surplus liquid. Our results show that the transitions between stationary and oscillatory behaviour are uniquely described mathematically by the Hopf bifurcation. This result characterizes the dynamical properties close to the transition point. Our perturbation experiments show that the cells remain strongly coupled very close to the transition. Therefore, the transition takes place in each of the cells and is not a desynchronization phenomenon. With these two observations, a study of the kinetic details of glycolysis, as it actually takes place in a living cell, is possible using experiments designed in the framework of nonlinear dynamics. Acetaldehyde is known to synchronize the oscillations. Our results show that glucose is another messenger substance, as long as the glucose transporter is not saturated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center