On the Relationship between Sensitivity Coeffcients and Transfer Functions of Reaction Kinetic Networks

Metabolic control analysis (MCA) and biochemical systems theory (BST) have become established methods when analyzing the behavior/kinetics of biochemical reaction systems. While the usage of MCA and BST involves the determination of sensitivities, e.g., steady state control coefficients (CCs), typically between reaction rates and concentrations/fluxes, transfer functions (TFs) from control engineering allow to analyze the connectivity between arbitrary input signals (e.g., rate constants or temperature) and arbitrary output signals (e.g., concentrations or fluxes) in the complex-valued s- or frequency domain. As CCs generally do not provide information about the connectivity between input and output signals, we became interested in the question of how CCs and TFs, or more generally, how arbitrary sensitivity coefficients (SCs) and TFs are related to each other. In this work, we describe a general relationship between SCs and their corresponding TFs from a general kinetic (state space) approach and show that the state space approach can describe the SC-TF relationship by a single equation. During our work, we became aware of an alternative method which relates CCs and TFs by using a stoichiometric network approach. In this work, we describe a procedure to identify conditions to determine whether a receptor-mediated input to a reaction kinetic network can show robust (perturbation independent) or nonrobust (balanced or perturbation dependent) adaptive or homeostatic behavior in an output. Compared to the stoichiometric network approach, the here described method allows for dealing with arbitrary (including empirically identified) kinetic expressions.