May 23, 2007

Stochastic fluctuations in metabolic pathways

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Erel Levine, Terence Hwa


Fluctuations in the abundance of molecules in the living cell may affect its growth and well being. For regulatory molecules (e.g., signaling proteins or transcription factors), fluctuations in their expression can affect the levels of downstream targets in a network. Here, we develop an analytic framework to investigate the phenomenon of noise correlation in molecular networks. Specifically, we focus on the metabolic network, which is highly interlinked, and noise properties may constrain its structure and function. Motivated by the analogy between the dynamics of a linear metabolic pathway and that of the exactly soluble linear queuing network or, alternatively, a mass transfer system, we derive a plethora of results concerning fluctuations in the abundance of intermediate metabolites in various common motifs of the metabolic network. For all but one case examined, we find the steady-state fluctuation in different nodes of the pathways to be effectively uncorrelated. Consequently, fluctuations in enzyme levels only affect local properties and do not propagate elsewhere into metabolic networks, and intermediate metabolites can be freely shared by different reactions. Our approach may be applicable to study metabolic networks w...Continue Reading

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  • Citations46


Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Metabolic Networks
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
Clinical Enzyme Tests (Procedure)
Accessory Atrioventricular Bundle
Metabolic Pathway
Substrate Specificity

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