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Temperature-compensated chemical reactions Kanaka Rajan and L. F. Abbott

Summary: Temperature-compensated chemical reactions
Kanaka Rajan and L. F. Abbott
Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032-2695, USA
Received 21 September 2006; published 23 February 2007
Circadian rhythms are daily oscillations in behaviors that persist in constant light/dark conditions with
periods close to 24 h. A striking feature of these rhythms is that their periods remain fairly constant over a wide
range of physiological temperatures, a feature called temperature compensation. Although circadian rhythms
have been associated with periodic oscillations in mRNA and protein levels, the question of how to construct
a network of chemical reactions that is temperature compensated remains unanswered. We discuss a general
framework for building such a network.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.75.022902 PACS number s : 82.39.Rt, 82.60.Hc, 82.20. w, 87.19.Jj
The rates of most chemical reactions are sensitive to tem-
perature with, in simple cases, an exponential dependence
given by the Arrhenius equation. In contrast, certain chemi-
cal processes in biological systems, most notably circadian
rhythms 13 , are temperature compensated, making them
quite insensitive to temperature changes 415 . Genetic mu-
tations that disrupt temperature compensation have been
identified 7,8,10,11 , raising the hope that the underlying


Source: Abbott, Laurence - Center for Neurobiology and Behavior & Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University


Collections: Biology and Medicine