• Mass conserved elementary kinetics is sufficient for the existence of a non-equilibrium steady state concentration.

      Fleming, R M T; Thiele, I; [ 1 ] Univ Iceland, Ctr Syst Biol, IS-101 Reykjavik, Iceland [ 2 ] Univ Iceland, Fac Med, Dept Biochem & Mol Biol, IS-101 Reykjavik, Iceland [ 3 ] Univ Iceland, Fac Ind Engn Mech Engn & Comp Sci, IS-101 Reykjavik, Iceland (Academic Press Ltd- Elsevier Science, 2012-12-07)
      Living systems are forced away from thermodynamic equilibrium by exchange of mass and energy with their environment. In order to model a biochemical reaction network in a non-equilibrium state one requires a mathematical formulation to mimic this forcing. We provide a general formulation to force an arbitrary large kinetic model in a manner that is still consistent with the existence of a non-equilibrium steady state. We can guarantee the existence of a non-equilibrium steady state assuming only two conditions; that every reaction is mass balanced and that continuous kinetic reaction rate laws never lead to a negative molecule concentration. These conditions can be verified in polynomial time and are flexible enough to permit one to force a system away from equilibrium. With expository biochemical examples we show how reversible, mass balanced perpetual reaction(s), with thermodynamically infeasible kinetic parameters, can be used to perpetually force various kinetic models in a manner consistent with the existence of a steady state. Easily testable existence conditions are foundational for efforts to reliably compute non-equilibrium steady states in genome-scale biochemical kinetic models.