# Introduction to Metabolic Control Analysis#

Metabolic control analysis (MCA) is a mathematical framework for describing the behavior of metabolic, signaling, and genetic pathways. MCA quantifies how variables, such as fluxes and species concentrations, depend on network parameters. In particular, it is able to describe how network-dependent properties, called control coefficients, depend on local properties called elasticities or elasticity coefficients.

MCA was originally developed to describe the control in metabolic pathways but was subsequently extended to describe signaling and genetic networks. Recent work has shown that MCA can be mapped directly on to classical control theory and are as such equivalent.

Biochemical systems theory is a similar formalism, though with rather different objectives. Both are evolutions of an earlier theoretical analysis by Joseph Higgins.

This book will cover the basic concepts of MCA.