Metabolic control analysis of biochemical pathways based on a thermokinetic description of reaction rates

Jens Bredal Nielsen

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    Metabolic control analysis is a powerful technique for the evaluation of flux control within biochemical pathways. Its foundation is the elasticity coefficients and the flux control coefficients (FCCs). On the basis of a thermokinetic description of reaction rates it is here shown that the elasticity coefficients can be calculated directly from the pool levels of metabolites at steady state. The only requirement is that one thermodynamic parameter be known, namely the reaction affinity at the intercept of the tangent in the inflection point of the curve of reaction rate against reaction affinity. This parameter can often be determined from experiments in vitro. The methodology is applicable only to the analysis of simple two-step pathways, but in many cases larger pathways can be lumped into two overall conversions. In cases where this cannot be done it is necessary to apply an extension of the thermokinetic description of reaction rates to include the influence of effecters. Here the reaction rate is written as a linear function of the logarithm of the metabolite concentrations. With this type of rate function it is shown that the approach of Delgado and Liao [Biochem. J. (1992) 282, 919-927] can be much more widely applied, although it was originally based on linearized kinetics. The methodology of determining elasticity coefficients directly from pool levels is illustrated with an analysis of the first two steps of the biosynthetic pathway of penicillin. The results compare well with previous findings based on a kinetic analysis.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Pages (from-to)133-8
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


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