A comparison of variant theories of intact biochemical systems. I. enzyme-enzyme interactions and biochemical systems theory

Albert Sorribas, Michael A. Savageau

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62 Scopus citations


The need for a well-structured theory of intact biochemical systems becomes increasingly evident as one attempts to integrate the vast knowledge of individual molecular constituents, which has been expanding for several decades. In recent years, several apparently different approaches to the development of such a theory have been proposed. Unfortunately, the resulting theories have not been distinguished from each other, and this has led to considerable confusion with numerous duplications and rediscoveries. Detailed comparisons and critical tests of alternative theories are badly needed to reverse these unfortunate developments. In this paper we (1) characterize a specific system involving enzyme-enzyme interactions for reference in comparing alternative theories, and (2) analyze the reference system by applying the explicit S-system variant within biochemical systems theory (BST), which represents a fundamental framework based upon the power-law formalism and includes several variants. The results provide the first complete and rigorous numerical analysis within the power-law formalism of a specific biochemical system and further evidence for the accuracy of the explicit S-system variant within BST. This theory is shown to represent enzyme-enzyme interactions in a systematically structured fashion that facilitates analysis of complex biochemical systems in which these interactions play a prominent role. This representation also captures the essential character of the underlying nonlinear processes over a wide range of variation (on average 20-fold) in the independent variables of the system. In the companion paper in this issue the same reference system is analyzed by other variants within BST as well as by two additional theories within the same power-law formalism-flux-oriented and metabolic control theories. The results show how all these theories are related to one another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-193
Number of pages33
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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