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Biophys J. 2004 Jun;86(6):3510-8.

How to impose microscopic reversibility in complex reaction mechanisms.

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Department of Pharmacology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.


Most, but not all, ion channels appear to obey the law of microscopic reversibility (or detailed balance). During the fitting of reaction mechanisms it is therefore often required that cycles in the mechanism should obey microscopic reversibility at all times. In complex reaction mechanisms, especially those that contain cubic arrangements of states, it may not be obvious how to achieve this. Three general methods for imposing microscopic reversibility are described. The first method works by setting the 'obvious' four-state cycles in the correct order. The second method, based on the idea of a spanning tree, works by finding independent cycles (which will often have more than four states) such that the order in which they are set does not matter. The third method uses linear algebra to solve for constrained rates.

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