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How long will cellular resources last - (Mar/04/2010 )

Dear people,

i have a kinda strange question for you ...maybe someone of you read a theoretical paper on that issue or has a comment that would be helpful!

Lets imagine the RNA polymerase of E. coli gets inhibited long will the cell function (or does the cell dies immediatley?) ...has anyone a idea how long the cellular resources will last (e.g. ATP, tRNAs+aminoacids) if they are not replenished?

Many thanks for your comments!



I think the cell will last until something becomes a limiting factor. Assuming that the bacterium doesn't have to synthesise any critical nutrients, the limiting factor will be the half life of a protein, which could be as little as 1/2 an hour or as much as several hours depending on the metabolic rate of the cell.