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FEBS Lett. 2000 Jun 30;476(1-2):47-51.

Regulating the cellular economy of supply and demand.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa.


Cellular metabolism is a molecular economy that is functionally organised into supply and demand blocks linked by metabolic products and cofactor cycles. Supply-demand analysis allows the behaviour, control and regulation of metabolism as a whole to be understood quantitatively in terms of the elasticities of supply and demand, which are experimentally measurable properties of the individual blocks. The kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of regulation are clearly distinguished. One important result is the demonstration that when flux is controlled by one block, the other block determines to which degree the concentration of the linking metabolite is homeostatically maintained.

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