DIMACS/BIOMAPS Seminar Series on Quantitative Biology and Epidemiology

Title: Reaction kinetics in intracellular environments with macromolecular crowding: simulations and rate laws

Speaker: Santiago Schnell, Oxford University

Date: Thursday, February 5, 2004 1:00 pm

Location: Hill Center, Room 260, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


We present recent evidence illustrating the fundamental difference between cytoplasmic and test tube biochemical kinetics and thermodynamics, and showing the breakdown of the law of mass action and power-law approximation in in vivo conditions. Simulations of biochemical reactions in non-homogeneous media show that as a result of anomalous diffusion and mixing of the biochemical species, reactions follow a fractal-like kinetics. Consequently, the conventional equations for biochemical pathways fail to describe the reactions in in vivo conditions. We present a modification to fractal-like kinetics employing the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution which will enable the modeling and analysis of biochemical reactions occurring in crowded intracellular environments. This innovative kinetics seems to be more appropiate to describe and analyse biochemical reactions in in vivo conditions.

Seminar sponsored by DIMACS/BIOMAPS Seminar Series on Quantitative Biology and Epidemiology.