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Molecular MachinesA Materials Science Approach$
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Giovanni Zocchi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691173863

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691173863.001.0001

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Kinematics of Enzyme Action

Kinematics of Enzyme Action

(p.81) 3 Kinematics of Enzyme Action
Molecular Machines

Giovanni Zocchi

Princeton University Press

Enzymes are catalysts as well as the molecular machines that generate and maintain the nonequilibrium state of the cell. There are roughly two main mechanisms by which enzymes provide the control function for the network of chemical reactions in the cell. One is the presence or absence of the enzyme, controlled by gene expression. The other is allosteric control: the modulation of the activity of an individual enzyme caused by binding of a specific ligand, often a small metabolite, or else caused by so-called post-translational modifications. This chapter addresses what could be variously called the quasi-equilibrium aspects, or steady state, or kinematics, of enzyme operation, and what one learns from time-independent perturbations of this steady state. Topics discussed include Michaelis–Menten kinetics, the method of the DNA springs, force and elastic energy in the enzyme–DNA chimeras, injection of elastic energy vs. activity modulation, and connection to nonlinear dynamics.

Keywords:   enzymes, molecular machines, cells, enzyme operation, kinematics, steady state, nonequilibrium state, allosteric control, gene expression

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