Mathematical treatment of isotopologue and isotopomer speciation and fractionation in biochemical kinetics <!-- Isotopologue and isotopomer speciation and fractionation -->
We present a mathematical treatment of the kinetic equations that describe isotopologue and isotopomer speciation and fractionation during enzyme-catalyzed biochemical reactions. These equations, presented here with the name GEBIK (general equations for biochemical isotope kinetics) and GEBIF (general equations for biochemical isotope fractionation), take into account microbial biomass and enzyme dynamics, reaction stoichiometry, isotope substitution number, and isotope location within each isotopologue and isotopomer. In addition to solving the complete GEBIK and GEBIF, we also present and discuss two approximations to the full solutions under the assumption of biomass-free and enzyme steady-state, and under the quasi-steady-state assumption as applied to the complexation rate. The complete and approximate approaches are applied to observations of biological denitrification in soils. Our analysis highlights that the full GEBIK and GEBIF provide a more accurate description of concentrations and isotopic compositions of substrates and products throughout the reaction than do the approximate forms. We demonstrate that the isotopic effects of a biochemical reaction depend, in the most general case, on substrate and complex concentrations and, therefore, the fractionation factor is a function of time. We also demonstrate that inverse isotopic effects can occur for values of the fractionation factor smaller than 1, and that reactions that do not discriminate isotopes do not necessarily imply a fractionation factor equal to 1.