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Metab Eng. 2004 Oct;6(4):378-90.

Optimal re-design of primary metabolism in Escherichia coli using linlog kinetics.

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  • 1PURAC, Research, Development and Technology, P.O. Box 21, Arkelsedijk 46, 4200 AA Gorinchem, The Netherlands. d.visser@purac.com


This paper examines the validity of the linlog approach, which was recently developed in our laboratory, by comparison of two different kinetic models for the metabolic network of Escherichia coli. The first model is a complete mechanistic model; the second is an approximative model in which linlog kinetics are applied. The parameters of the linlog model (elasticities) are derived from the mechanistic model. Three different optimization cases are examined. In all cases, the objective is to calculate the enzyme levels that maximize a certain flux while keeping the total amount of enzyme constant and preventing large changes of metabolite concentrations. For an average variation of metabolite levels of 10% and individual changes of a factor 2, the predicted enzyme levels, metabolite concentrations and fluxes of both models are highly similar. This similarity holds for changes in enzyme level of a factor 4-6 and for changes in fluxes up to a factor 6. In all three cases, the predicted optimal enzyme levels could neither have been found by intuition-based approaches, nor on basis of flux control coefficients. This demonstrates that kinetic models are essential tools in Metabolic Engineering. In this respect, the linlog approach is a valuable extension of MCA, since it allows construction of kinetic models, based on MCA parameters, that can be used for constrained optimization problems and are valid for large changes of metabolite and enzyme levels.

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