Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Chem Biol. 2012 May 17;8(6):509-17. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.971.

Rethinking glycolysis: on the biochemical logic of metabolic pathways.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Abstract

Metabolic pathways may seem arbitrary and unnecessarily complex. In many cases, a chemist might devise a simpler route for the biochemical transformation, so why has nature chosen such complex solutions? In this review, we distill lessons from a century of metabolic research and introduce new observations suggesting that the intricate structure of metabolic pathways can be explained by a small set of biochemical principles. Using glycolysis as an example, we demonstrate how three key biochemical constraints--thermodynamic favorability, availability of enzymatic mechanisms and the physicochemical properties of pathway intermediates--eliminate otherwise plausible metabolic strategies. Considering these constraints, glycolysis contains no unnecessary steps and represents one of the very few pathway structures that meet cellular demands. The analysis presented here can be applied to metabolic engineering efforts for the rational design of pathways that produce a desired product while satisfying biochemical constraints.

PMID:
22596202
DOI:
10.1038/nchembio.971
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center