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Syst Biol (Stevenage). 2006 Sep;153(5):327-31.

Conditions for effective allosteric feedforward and feedback in metabolic pathways.

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Triple-J Group for Molecular Cell Physiology, Department of Biochemistry, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa


Whether an allosteric feedback or feedforward modifier actually has an effect on the steady-state properties of a metabolic pathway depends not only on the allosteric modifier effect itself, but also on the control properties of the affected allosteric enzyme in the pathway of which it is part. Different modification mechanisms are analysed: mixed inhibition, allosteric inhibition and activation of the reversible Monod-Wyman-Changeux and reversible Hill models. In conclusion, it is shown that, whereas a modifier effect on substrate and product binding (specific effects) can be an effective negative feedback mechanism, it is much less effective as a positive feedforward mechanism. The prediction is that catalytic effects that change the apparent limiting velocity would be more effective in feedforward activation.

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