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Title: Irreversible thermodynamics of open chemical networks. I. Emergent cycles and broken conservation laws

In this paper and Paper II, we outline a general framework for the thermodynamic description of open chemical reaction networks, with special regard to metabolic networks regulating cellular physiology and biochemical functions. We first introduce closed networks “in a box”, whose thermodynamics is subjected to strict physical constraints: the mass-action law, elementarity of processes, and detailed balance. We further digress on the role of solvents and on the seemingly unacknowledged property of network independence of free energy landscapes. We then open the system by assuming that the concentrations of certain substrate species (the chemostats) are fixed, whether because promptly regulated by the environment via contact with reservoirs, or because nearly constant in a time window. As a result, the system is driven out of equilibrium. A rich algebraic and topological structure ensues in the network of internal species: Emergent irreversible cycles are associated with nonvanishing affinities, whose symmetries are dictated by the breakage of conservation laws. These central results are resumed in the relation a + b = s{sup Y} between the number of fundamental affinities a, that of broken conservation laws b and the number of chemostats s{sup Y}. We decompose the steady state entropy production rate in termsmore » of fundamental fluxes and affinities in the spirit of Schnakenberg's theory of network thermodynamics, paving the way for the forthcoming treatment of the linear regime, of efficiency and tight coupling, of free energy transduction, and of thermodynamic constraints for network reconstruction.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Complex Systems and Statistical Mechanics, University of Luxembourg, Campus Limpertsberg, 162a avenue de la Faïencerie, L-1511 Luxembourg, G. D. Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22308576
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; AFFINITY; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; CONSERVATION LAWS; COUPLING; EFFICIENCY; ENTROPY; FREE ENERGY; SOLVENTS; SUBSTRATES; THERMODYNAMICS