Next Article in Journal
Essences in Metabolic Engineering of Lignan Biosynthesis
Next Article in Special Issue
Metabolism at Evolutionary Optimal States
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Mathematical Modelling of Metabolic Regulation in Aging
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Footprints of Optimal Protein Assembly Strategies in the Operonic Structure of Prokaryotes

Research Group Theoretical Systems Biology, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Leutragraben 1, 07743 Jena, Germany
Research Group Medical Systems Biology, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Brunswiker Straße 10, 24105 Kiel, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ines Heiland
Metabolites 2015, 5(2), 252-269;
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 April 2015 / Published: 28 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Systems Biology)
PDF [828 KB, uploaded 28 April 2015]


In this work, we investigate optimality principles behind synthesis strategies for protein complexes using a dynamic optimization approach. We show that the cellular capacity of protein synthesis has a strong influence on optimal synthesis strategies reaching from a simultaneous to a sequential synthesis of the subunits of a protein complex. Sequential synthesis is preferred if protein synthesis is strongly limited, whereas a simultaneous synthesis is optimal in situations with a high protein synthesis capacity. We confirm the predictions of our optimization approach through the analysis of the operonic organization of protein complexes in several hundred prokaryotes. Thereby, we are able to show that cellular protein synthesis capacity is a driving force in the dissolution of operons comprising the subunits of a protein complex. Thus, we also provide a tested hypothesis explaining why the subunits of many prokaryotic protein complexes are distributed across several operons despite the presumably less precise co-regulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein assembly; dynamic optimization; optimal control; operon formation protein assembly; dynamic optimization; optimal control; operon formation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ewald, J.; Kötzing, M.; Bartl, M.; Kaleta, C. Footprints of Optimal Protein Assembly Strategies in the Operonic Structure of Prokaryotes. Metabolites 2015, 5, 252-269.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Metabolites EISSN 2218-1989 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top