Metabolic control analysis of plant metabolism


T. ap Rees, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EA, UK.


Metabolic control analysis and its major coefficients are introduced. The importance of measuring both elasticity and concentration-control coefficients as well as flux-control coefficients is stressed. The conditions that need to be met before control analysis can be applied experimentally are emphasized. It is argued that successful application of this approach requires methods for the measurement of flux, maximum catalytic activities of enzymes and substrate contents. The measurement of flux by consumption of substrate, production of product, and the distribution of isotope after metabolism of labelled substrates is discussed. The need to ensure that measurements of enzymes and substrates are reliable and authenticated is stressed. Particular emphasis is placed on the ease with which such measurements can be invalidated in plant tissues, and ways for countering these difficulties are discussed.