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Defining the Energetic Costs of Cellular Structures

Mahmoudabadi, Gita and Phillips, Rob and Lynch, Michael and Milo, Ron (2019) Defining the Energetic Costs of Cellular Structures. . (Unpublished)

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All cellular structures are assembled from molecular building blocks, and molecular building blocks incur energetic costs to the cell. In an energy-limited environment, the energetic cost of a cellular structure imposes a fitness cost and impacts a cell's evolutionary trajectory. While the importance of energetic considerations was realized for decades, the distinction between direct energetic costs expended by the cell and potential energy that the cell diverts into cellular biomass components, which we define as the opportunity cost, was not explicitly made, leading to large differences in values for energetic costs of molecular building blocks used in the literature. We describe a framework that defines and separates various components relevant for estimating the energetic costs of molecular building blocks and the resulting cellular structures. This distinction among energetic costs is an essential step towards discussing the conversion of an energetic cost to a corresponding fitness cost.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Mahmoudabadi, Gita0000-0002-8812-7246
Phillips, Rob0000-0003-3082-2809
Milo, Ron0000-0003-1641-2299
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. All rights reserved. No reuse allowed without permission. bioRxiv preprint first posted online Jun. 10, 2019. We are grateful to Michael Lassig for his comments and insightful recommendations. G.M. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (grant no. DGE-1144469). R.M. is supported by the European Research Council (Project NOVCARBFIX 646827), the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 740/16), and the Beck-Canadian Center for Alternative Energy Research. R.P. is supported by The John Templeton Foundation (Boundaries of Life Initiative, grant ID 51250), the National Institute of Health’s Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award (grant no. RFA-GM-17-002), the National Institute of Health’s Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (grant no. R01- GM098465), and the National Science Foundation (grant no. NSF PHY11-25915) through the 2015 Cellular Evolution course at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. M.L. is supported by the U.S. Department of Army, MURI award (grant no. W911NF-14-1-0411), the National Institutes of Health (grant no. R35-GM122566) and the National Science Foundation (grant no. MCB-1518060).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
European Research Council (ERC)646827 NOVCARBFIX
Israel Science Foundation740/16
Beck-Canadian Center for Alternative Energy ResearchUNSPECIFIED
John Templeton Foundation51250
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-14-1-0411
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190611-161448645
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Defining the Energetic Costs of Cellular Structures. Gita Mahmoudabadi, Rob Phillips, Michael Lynch, Ron Milo. bioRxiv 666040; doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96305
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Jun 2019 23:23
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:19

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