The tricarboxylic acid cycle in Dictyostelium discoideum: Systemic effects of including protein turnover in the current model

Fumihide Shiraishi, Michael A. Savageau

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The current model for the tricarboxylic acid cycle in Dictyoatelium discoideum is based on extensive experimental studies of enzyme kinetics in vitro and of metabolite fluxes measured in vivo. In the previous papers (Shiraishi, F., and Savageau, M. A. (1992) J. Biol. Chem. 267, 22912-22918; 22919-22925; 22926-22933; 22934-22943) of this series we have carried out extensive analyses of the current model within the framework of biochemical systems theory with a view toward understanding the behavior of the integrated system. The model was found to be ill determined with respect to at least three of its features. In this paper we propose a minimal modification in the model that is consistent with previous experimental data but also includes recycling of amino acids for protein synthesis, one of the neglected features identified as important in the previous analysis. We again perform an analysis within the framework of biochemical systems theory to determine the systemic consequences of this change. The results show that the robustness of the modified model, as determined by the parameter sensitivities, is improved by 2 orders of magnitude over that of the previous model. Analysis of the dynamics shows that the turnover times for the pools of alanine, glutamate, and aspartate are reduced by 2 orders of magnitude and made more physiologically realistic. The distribution of flux is no longer rigidly fixed, and problems previously centered on the metabolism of pyruvate have been partially alleviated. Continued discrepancies lead us to question the degree to which kinetic data obtained with purified enzymes in vitro faithfully reflect the kinetic behavior of the integrated enzyme system in vivo. We must continue to re-examine the manner in which the kinetics of reactions in vivo are represented and to reassess the physical conditions that prevail in vitro and in vivo. Results in this paper direct our attention toward specific aspects of the system where these efforts should be focused. Thus, a minimal modification of the previous model has led to several improvements that make it more representative of the tricarboxylic acid cycle in D. discoideum, and the analysis in this paper leads to further predictions for improving the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16917-16928
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Aug 15 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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