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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11(8), 2921-2961; doi:10.3390/ijms11082921

Energetics of Glucose Metabolism: A Phenomenological Approach to Metabolic Network Modeling

Marschweg 10, D-29690 Schwarmstedt, Germany
Received: 6 July 2010 / Revised: 5 August 2010 / Accepted: 6 August 2010 / Published: 12 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative Modelling in Molecular System Bioenergetics)
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A new formalism to describe metabolic fluxes as well as membrane transport processes was developed. The new flux equations are comparable to other phenomenological laws. Michaelis-Menten like expressions, as well as flux equations of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, can be regarded as special cases of these new equations. For metabolic network modeling, variable conductances and driving forces are required to enable pathway control and to allow a rapid response to perturbations. When applied to oxidative phosphorylation, results of simulations show that whole oxidative phosphorylation cannot be described as a two-flux-system according to nonequilibrium thermodynamics, although all coupled reactions per se fulfill the equations of this theory. Simulations show that activation of ATP-coupled load reactions plus glucose oxidation is brought about by an increase of only two different conductances: a [Ca2+] dependent increase of cytosolic load conductances, and an increase of phosphofructokinase conductance by [AMP], which in turn becomes increased through [ADP] generation by those load reactions. In ventricular myocytes, this feedback mechanism is sufficient to increase cellular power output and O2 consumption several fold, without any appreciable impairment of energetic parameters. Glucose oxidation proceeds near maximal power output, since transformed input and output conductances are nearly equal, yielding an efficiency of about 0.5. This conductance matching is fulfilled also by glucose oxidation of β-cells. But, as a price for the metabolic mechanism of glucose recognition, β-cells have only a limited capability to increase their power output. View Full-Text
Keywords: nonequilibrium thermodynamics; oxidative phosphorylation; efficiency; metabolic stability; glucose recognition nonequilibrium thermodynamics; oxidative phosphorylation; efficiency; metabolic stability; glucose recognition

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Diederichs, F. Energetics of Glucose Metabolism: A Phenomenological Approach to Metabolic Network Modeling. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11, 2921-2961.

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