feedback regulation


feedback regulation
Control mechanism that uses the consequences of a process to regulate the rate at which the process occurs: if, for example, the products of a reaction inhibit the reaction from proceeding (or slow down the rate of the reaction), then there is negative feedback, something that is very common in metabolic pathways. Positive feedback is liable to lead to exponential increase and may be explosively dangerous in some cases. Other examples are the action of voltage-gated sodium channels in generating action potentials and the activation of blood clotting factors V and VIII by thrombin. Without damping, feedback can lead to resonance (hunting) and oscillation in the system.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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