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Communication: Limitations of the stochastic quasi-steady-state approximation in open biochemical reaction networks
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It is commonly believed that, whenever timescale separation holds, the predictions of reduced chemical master equations obtained using the stochastic quasi-steady-state approximation are in very good agreement with the predictions of the full master equations. We use the linear noise approximation to obtain a simple formula for the relative error between the predictions of the two master equations for the Michaelis-Menten reaction with substrate input. The reduced approach is predicted to overestimate the variance of the substrate concentration fluctuations by as much as 30%. The theoretical results are validated by stochastic simulations using experimental parameter values for enzymes involved in proteolysis, gluconeogenesis, and fermentation.
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