Combinatorial Aspects of Enzyme Kinetics
Two concepts from chemistry, definable in mathematical terms, are the starting point of this paper: A reaction network (which is a generalization of a graph) and a mechanism for a reaction (which is a generalization of a path from one vertex to another in a graph). Then, as the main result, a statement made in 1964 by P.C. Milner  is put into precise terms and proved. To paraphrase Milner’s statement, a mechanism for a reaction r in a given network reduces to the superposition of two or more consistently oriented direct mechanisms for r from the same network, where direct mechanisms are capable of no such reduction. This result is the principal justification of an algorithm, described in this paper, for generating a list of all possible direct mechanisms for a given reaction in a given network. Examples are used to show how these ideas apply to enzyme kinetics studies.
KeywordsHomology Group Chemical System Reaction Network Elementary Reaction Free Abelian Group
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