Computational Approaches to the Study of Biochemical Pathways and Metabolic Control

  • Pedro Mendes
Part of the NATO Science Series book series (ASHT, volume 74)


Metabolic control analysis as developed by Kacser & Burns (1973) and Heinrich & Rapoport (1974) and further developed by many others (reviewed ten years ago in this series, Cornish-Bowden & Cárdenas, 1990) is concerned mainly with providing a quantitative measure of the control exerted by each step of a pathway on a system variable, such as a flux. Metabolic control analysis is much more successful in describing control than the older theory of rate-limiting steps Blackman, (1905) or the crossover theorem Chance et al., (1958). Metabolic control analysis is based on quantifying the change in a pathway property of interest as a function of variation in a manipulated parameter—the sensitivity of the pathway to that parameter. One of the strengths of metabolic control analysis is that it is exact, due to its formulation based on infinitesimal changes. In its most popular formalism it uses relative changes and so its coefficients are dimensionless. This is important, as it allows one to compare the properties of the same pathway under different environmental conditions and even, to some extent, different pathways.


Metabolic Engineering Metabolic Flux Biochemical Pathway Metabolic Model Projection Pursuit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro Mendes
    • 1
  1. 1.National Center for Genome ResourcesSanta FeUSA

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