Phase-Plane Geometries in Coupled Enzyme Assays


The determination of a substrate or enzyme activity by coupling of one enzymatic reaction with another easily detectable (indicator) reaction is a common practice in the biochemical sciences. Usually, the kinetics of enzyme reactions is simplified with singular perturbation analysis to derive rate or time course expressions valid under the quasi-steady-state and reactant stationary state assumptions. In this paper, the dynamical behavior of coupled enzyme catalyzed reaction mechanisms is studied by analysis of the phase-plane. We analyze two types of time-dependent slow manifolds - Sisyphus and Laelaps manifolds - that occur in the asymptotically autonomous vector fields that arise from enzyme coupled reactions. Projection onto slow manifolds yields various reduced models, and we present a geometric interpretation of the slow/fast dynamics that occur in the phase-planes of these reactions.