On Parts and Wholes in Metabolism

  • Henrik Kacser
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 127)


Historically, the progress of science has been driven by its analytical approach. Although the biological sciences have been lagging somewhat behind the physical sciences, the last fifty years or so have seen an increasing avalanche in the identification and description of the components of living organisms. Refined instrumentation and ingenious techniques have gone hand in hand with sophisticated mathematical models of molecular properties. The method of choice has been to cut up the organism into ever smaller pieces and look at the pieces in ever greater detail. We can now detect a single specific nucleotide among millions and measure the presence of a few molecules in a whole cell. We can describe the dynamics of internal molecular motions and calculate the thermodynamics of their transitions.


Elasticity Coefficient Control Coefficient Metabolic Control Analysis Flux Control Coefficient Simple Pathway 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Burns, J.A., Cornish-Bowden, A., Groen, A.K., Heinrich, R., Kacser, H., Porteous, J.W., Rapoport, S.M., Rapoport, T.A., Stucki, J.W., Tager, J.M., Wanders, R.J.A., and Westerhoff, H.V., 1985, Control analysis of metabolic systems, Trends Biochem. Sci. 10:16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dean, A.M., Dykhuizen, D.E. and Hartl, D.L., 1986, Fitness as a function of β -galactosidase activity in Escherichia coli, Genet. M&l Qsfflb., in press.Google Scholar
  3. Fell, D.A. and Sauro, H.M., 1985, Metabolic control and its analysis. Additional relationships between elasticities and control coefficients, Eur. J. Biochem., 148:555.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Flint, H.J., Tateson, R.W., Barthelmess, I.B., Porteous, D.J., Donachie, W.D., and Kacser, H., 1981, Control of the flux in the arginine pathway of Neurospora crassa: Modulations of enzyme activity and concentration, Biochem J., 200:231.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Groen, A.K., Wanders, R.J.A., Westerhôff, H.V., van der Meer, R. and Tager, J.M., 1982, Quantification of the contribution of various steps to the control of mitochondrial respiration, J. Biol. Chem., 257:2754.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Heinrich, R and Rapoport, T.A., 1974, A linear steady state treatment of enzymatic chains, Eur. J. Biochem., 42:97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Heinrich, R, and Rapoport, T.A., 1975, Mathematical analysis of multienzyme systems. II. Steady state and transient control, Biosvstems. 7:130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hofmeyer, J.S., Kacser, H., and van der Meer, K.J., 1986, Metabolic control analysis of moiety conserved cycles, Eur. J. Biochem., in press.Google Scholar
  9. Kacser, H., 1983, The control of enzyme systems in vivo: Elasticity analysis of the steady state, Biochem. Soo. Trans., a11:35.Google Scholar
  10. Kacser, H. and Burns, J.A., 1973, The control of flux, in: “Rate Control of Biological Processes”, D.D. Davies, ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  11. Kacser, H. and Burns, J.A., 1979, Molecular democracy: Who shares the controls?, Biochem. Soc. Trans., 7:1149.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kacser, H. and Burns, J.A., 1981, The molecular basis of dominance, Genetics, 97:639.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Middleton, R.J. and Kacser, E, 1983, Enzyme variation, metabolic flux and fitness: alcohol dehydrogenase in Drosophila melanogaster, Genetics, 105:633.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Salter, M., Knowles, R.G., and Pogson, C.I., 1986, Quantitation of the importance of individual steps in the control of aromatic amino acid metabolism, Biochem. J., in press.Google Scholar
  15. Westerhoff, H.V. and Chen, Y., 1984, How do enzyme activities control metabolite concentrations? An additional theorem in the theory of metabolic control, Eur. J. Biochem., 142:425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Westerhoff, H.V., Groen, A.K., and Wanders, R.J.A., 1984, Modern theories of metabolic control and their application, Bioscience Reports., 4:1PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Kacser
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

Personalised recommendations