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Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Apr 17;10(4):1697-718. doi: 10.3390/ijms10041697.

Bidirectionality and compartmentation of metabolic fluxes are revealed in the dynamics of isotopomer networks.

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  • 1Laboratory of Systems Biology, Institute of Cybernetics, Tallinn University of Technology, Akadeemia 21, 12618 Tallinn, Estonia.


Isotope labeling is one of the few methods of revealing the in vivo bidirectionality and compartmentalization of metabolic fluxes within metabolic networks. We argue that a shift from steady state to dynamic isotopomer analysis is required to deal with these cellular complexities and provide a review of dynamic studies of compartmentalized energy fluxes in eukaryotic cells including cardiac muscle, plants, and astrocytes. Knowledge of complex metabolic behaviour on a molecular level is prerequisite for the intelligent design of genetically modified organisms able to realize their potential of revolutionizing food, energy, and pharmaceutical production. We describe techniques to explore the bidirectionality and compartmentalization of metabolic fluxes using information contained in the isotopic transient, and discuss the integration of kinetic models with MFA. The flux parameters of an example metabolic network were optimized to examine the compartmentalization of metabolites and and the bidirectionality of fluxes in the TCA cycle of Saccharomyces uvarum for steady-state respiratory growth.


13C NMR; MFA; Metabolic network; compartmentalization; isotopomer dynamics; mathematical modeling

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