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Trends Biotechnol. 1999 Feb;17(2):53-60.

Detection of elementary flux modes in biochemical networks: a promising tool for pathway analysis and metabolic engineering.

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  • 1Department of Bioinformatics, Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin-Buch, Germany. schuster@bp.biologie.hu-berlin.de


Rational metabolic engineering requires powerful theoretical methods such as pathway analysis, in which the topology of metabolic networks is considered. All metabolic capabilities in steady states are composed of elementary flux modes, which are minimal sets of enzymes that can each generate valid steady states. The modes of the fructose-2,6-bisphosphate cycle, the combined tricarboxylic-acid-glyoxylate-shunt system and tryptophan synthesis are used here for illustration. This approach can be used for many biotechnological applications such as increasing the yield of a product, channelling a product into desired pathways and in functional reconstruction from genomic data.

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