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Supramolecular structure and enzyme catalysis: the groundplan of living cells

  • M. A. Aon
  • S. Cortassa

Abstract

Extracellular stimuli (e.g. light, hormones, pH, oxygen) trigger a coherent answer at the cellular level that leads the cell to different developmental paths, to stop division or to redirect metabolic fluxes. Chapter 2 argued that, at the cellular level, the passage from microscopic to macroscopic coherence could be given by instability of the dynamics of processes like polymerization-depolymerization of cytoskeleton components. One main piece of evidence that led us to suggest the autonomous dynamics of the cytoskeleton as an organizer of cellular activities was at the spatio-temporal ‘window’ of occurrence of polymerization-depolymerization processes that corresponded to the domain likely to give rise to macroscopic coherence at the cellular level, i.e. microtubules extend over several micrometres in a lapse of minutes (Kirschner and Mitchinson, 1986; Erickson and O’Brien, 1992). Instabilities in the autonomous dynamics of biological processes in a far from thermodynamic equilibrium domain give rise to self-organized behaviour. This behaviour could synchronize collective or systemic properties in cells such as metabolic fluxes (Cortassa et al.,1994a; Cortassa and Aon, 1994b). Redirection of metabolic fluxes as a mechanism of carbon and energy uncoupling has been shown to be associated to cell division and differentiation (sporulation) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Aon et al., 1995; Mónaco et al., 1995; Aon and Cortassa, unpublished).

Keywords

Percolation Threshold Pyruvate Kinase Metabolic Flux Supramolecular Structure Enzyme Catalysis 
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

© M.A. Aon and S. Cortassa 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Aon
    • 1
  • S. Cortassa
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Career Investigator from CONICETArgentina

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