Evolution and Regulation of Metabolic Networks

  • Giuseppe Damiani
Part of the Mathematics and Biosciences in Interaction book series (MBI)


The analysis of metabolic processes, gene expression patterns, and protein-protein interactions in different organisms indicates that cellular metabolic networks have a scale-free and hierarchical topology described by power laws. The dynamics of these networks might be produced by a fractal organization of an autoregulatory loop, named metabolic hypercycle, between opposite redox processes of anabolic and catabolic types. This fractal architecture allows the formation of a long range correlated state of cellular networks which is globally regulated by a critical hub sensitive to the redox state. In prokaryotic cells this fundamental regulator is generally a two-component kinase system while in eukaryotic cells it is likely that casein kinase-2 and glycogen synthase kinase-3 play a central role in metabolism control. Both prokaryotes and eukaryotes share the same conserved sequence signatures, the PAS domain, in the main sensors of the changes in redox potential. Many experimental data support the hypothesis that the developmental pathways of cells and complex organisms are the results of conserved biological clocks based on metabolic hypercycles organized in fractal networks.


Metabolic Network Cellular Network Circadian Clock Fractal Network Major Histocompatibility Complex Allele 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Damiani
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Genetica MolecolareConsiglio Nazionale delle RicerchePaviaItaly

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