Zero-order Ultrasensitivity in Interconvertible Enzyme Systems

  • Albert Goldbeter
  • Daniel E. KoshlandJr.
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 190)


How to generate thresholds is an important question in cellular metabolism as well as in other fields of biology. Thresholds are essential if large changes in response are to be elicited by relatively small changes in stimulus, i.e. substrate or effector in the case of enzymes (Koshland et al., 1982). An important role is nevertheless retained in metabolic systems by other reactions in the pathway since these will determine whether any abrupt change is propagated beyond the threshold-generating step. Control of flux indeed appears to be distributed over the various steps of a pathway (Kacser & Bums, 1973; Westerhoff et al., 1984). The reversible shutting down of the flux above a suprathreshold stimulation should, however, prove a most efficient way of generating sharp transitions under steady-state conditions.


Converter Enzyme Covalent Modification Hill Coefficient Dual Control Threshold Phenomenon 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Goldbeter
    • 1
  • Daniel E. KoshlandJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculté des SciencesUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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