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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1995 Oct;27(5):479-90.

Metabolic regulation: a control analytic perspective.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.


A possible basis for a quantitative theory of metabolic regulation is outlined. Regulation is defined here as the alteration of reaction properties to augment or counteract the mass-action trend in a network reactions. In living systems the enzymes that catalyze these reactions are the "handles" through which such alteration is effected. It is shown how the elasticity coefficients of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction with respect to substrates and products are the sum of a mass-action term and a regulatory kinetic term; these coefficients therefore distinguish between mass-action effects and regulatory effects and are recognized as the key to quantifying regulation. As elasticity coefficients are also basic ingredients of metabolic control analysis, it is possible to relate regulation to such concepts as control, signalling, stability, and homeostasis. The need for care in the choice of relative or absolute changes when considering questions of metabolic regulation is stressed. Although the concepts are illustrated in terms of a simple coupled reaction system, they apply equally to more complex systems. When such systems are divided into reaction blocks, co-response coefficients can be used to measure the elasticities of these blocks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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