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PLOS ONE  2012 

The Number of Catalytic Elements Is Crucial for the Emergence of Metabolic Cores

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007510

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Abstract:

Different studies show evidence that several unicellular organisms display a cellular metabolic structure characterized by a set of enzymes which are always in an active state (metabolic core), while the rest of the molecular catalytic reactions exhibit on-off changing states. This self-organized enzymatic configuration seems to be an intrinsic characteristic of metabolism, common to all living cellular organisms. In a recent analysis performed with dissipative metabolic networks (DMNs) we have shown that this global functional structure emerges in metabolic networks with a relatively high number of catalytic elements, under particular conditions of enzymatic covalent regulatory activity.

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