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Elements of the cellular metabolic structure

AuthorsDe la Fuente, Ildefondo M.
Keywordssystems biology
metabolic networks
systemic metabolism
Hopfield dynamics
dissipative processes
Issue Date28-Apr-2015
PublisherUniversity of Copenhagen
CitationFrontiers in Molecular Biosciences 2: 16 (2015)
AbstractA large number of studies have demonstrated the existence of metabolic covalent modifications in different molecular structures, which are able to store biochemical information that is not encoded by DNA. Some of these covalent mark patterns can be transmitted across generations (epigenetic changes). Recently, the emergence of Hopfield-like attractor dynamics has been observed in self-organized enzymatic networks, which have the capacity to store functional catalytic patterns that can be correctly recovered by specific input stimuli. Hopfield-like metabolic dynamics are stable and can be maintained as a long-term biochemical memory. In addition, specific molecular information can be transferred from the functional dynamics of the metabolic networks to the enzymatic activity involved in covalent post-translational modulation, so that determined functional memory can be embedded in multiple stable molecular marks. The metabolic dynamics governed by Hopfield-type attractors (functional processes), as well as the enzymatic covalent modifications of specific molecules (structural dynamic processes) seem to represent the two stages of the dynamical memory of cellular metabolism (metabolic memory). Epigenetic processes appear to be the structural manifestation of this cellular metabolic memory. Here, a new framework for molecular information storage in the cell is presented, which is characterized by two functionally and molecularly interrelated systems: a dynamic, flexible and adaptive system (metabolic memory) and an essentially conservative system (genetic memory). The molecular information of both systems seems to coordinate the physiological development of the whole cell.
Publisher version (URL)http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmolb.2015.00016/abstract
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