Biochemical systems theory and metabolic control theory: 2. the role of summation and connectivity relationships

Michael A. Savageau, Eberhard O. Voit, Douglas H. Irvine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Perhaps the major obstacle to recognizing the relatedness of Biochemical Systems Theory (BST) and a subsequently developed approach some have called Metabolic Control Theory (MCT) is the summation and connectivity relationships. These are the most visible and central features of the MCT approach to the understanding of intact biochemical systems, whereas in the BST approach they appear to be invisible and peripheral. Generalized versions of these relationships are shown to be inherent to BST, and it is shown how their role differs from that within MCT. The significance of summation and connectivity relationships is shown to be historical and secondary in the sense that one can understand fully the integrated behavior of complex biochemical systems in steady state with BST and never explicitly invoke these relationships. It also is shown that the summation and connectivity relationships in MCT have inherent limitations that make them inadequate as the basis for a general theory of biochemical systems. The results in this paper, together with those in the previous paper, clearly demonstrate that MCT is a special case of BST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-169
Number of pages23
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Biochemical systems theory and metabolic control theory: 2. the role of summation and connectivity relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this