MC
6460
Speaker
Christian Euler, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo
Title
Thermodynamics constrains information flow in metabolism
Abstract
Metabolism is characterized by mass, energy, and information exchanges both internally and with the environment. Mass balance forms the basis of systems-level metabolic analyses, and thermodynamic consistency is now readily considered at scale in metabolic modelling. However, information flows in metabolic networks and constraints thereon remain unexplored, despite the fact that understanding these limitations in biological regulatory systems has proven useful. Work to uncover such constraints - and therefore how information flows in metabolic networks - will be presented in this talk. Linear noise analysis will be used to show that metabolic signal correlation is constrained by distance from equilibrium: perturbations to reactions operating close to equilibrium may be propagated in the metabolic network, whereas perturbations to those very far from equilibrium cannot be. Similar analysis will be used to show that information flow via regulation is maximized in the opposite conditions, such that regulation can "rescue" information that would otherwise be lost due to thermodynamic constraints. Finally, multi-omics data from Escherichia coli will be used to show that the structure of the metabolic and regulatory networks is consistent with the design goal of maximizing information flow across metabolic conditions.