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We investigate regulatory functions of the metabolic network and how its dynamics are maintained. A model situation where the metabolome has regulatory function is the adaptation to stress conditions. When cells are exposed to oxidants, when cells age or when a cancer cell starts proliferation, their metabolism changes.
We found that under those conditions the metabolic network can reconfigure very quickly, and that metabolism can temporarily adjust without requiring regulation at the transcriptome and proteome layer. There is also evidence that these quick metabolic adjustments can be involved in the induction of transcriptional stress responses.