InterJournal Complex Systems, 446
Status: Submitted
Manuscript Number: [446]
Submission Date: 1104
Comment on manuscript revision number 37728
Self-Orgnization in Metabolic Pathways
Author(s): Sungchul Ji

Subject(s): CX.13, CX.30, CX.07

Category: Brief Article


The authors found an approximate negative power law relation between the frequency, N(n), of metabolites having a connectivity of n, defined as the number of pathways involving a given metabolite, and the connectivity n itself. Thus, double logarithmic plots of the N(n) against n led to straight lines with negative slopes of about 3. The result suggested to the authors that the metabolic pathways of living organisms possess the characteristics a self-organized critical system. Another possible interpretation would be (i) to view N(n) and n as information sources and (ii) the logarithmic functions of N(n) and n as the amount of information transmitted from these sources per symbol through the metabolic channel. Then the finding that ln N(n) is negatively correlated to ln n may indicate that the more complex the metabolic properties of a given metabolite (i.e., the higher the metabolic connectivity), the less frequent its congeners, probably to maintain the channel capacity constant. Although the manuscript seems to lack in rigor and creativity, its findings nevertheless are worthy of further investigations. Hence, I recommend that the manuscript be accepted for publication as is.

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