Frequency Domain Properties and Fundamental Limits of Buffer-Feedback Regulation in Biochemical Systems
Feedback regulation in biochemical systems is fundamental to homeostasis, with failure causing disease or death. Recent work has found that cooperation between feedback and buffering---the use of reservoirs of molecules to maintain molecular concentrations---is often critical for biochemical regulation, and that buffering can act as a derivative or lead controller. However, buffering differs from derivative feedback in important ways: it is not typically limited by stability constraints on the parallel feedback loop, for some signals it acts instead as a low-pass filter, and it can change the location of disturbances in the closed-loop system. Here, we propose a frequency-domain framework for studying the regulatory properties of buffer-feedback systems. We determine standard single-output closed-loop transfer functions and discuss loop-shaping properties. We also derive novel fundamental limits for buffer-feedback regulation, which show that buffering and removal processes can reduce the fundamental limits on feedback regulation. We apply the framework to study the regulation for glycolysis (anaerobic metabolism) with creatine phosphate buffering.