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J Bioinform Comput Biol. 2012 Dec;10(6):1250019. doi: 10.1142/S0219720012500199. Epub 2012 Aug 23.

Modeling the optimal central carbon metabolic pathways under feedback inhibition using flux balance analysis.

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  • 1Machine Intelligence Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B.T. Road, Kolkata 700108, India.


Metabolism is a complex process for energy production for cellular activity. It consists of a cascade of reactions that form a highly branched network in which the product of one reaction is the reactant of the next reaction. Metabolic pathways efficiently produce maximal amount of biomass while maintaining a steady-state behavior. The steady-state activity of such biochemical pathways necessarily incorporates feedback inhibition of the enzymes. This observation motivates us to incorporate feedback inhibition for modeling the optimal activity of metabolic pathways using flux balance analysis (FBA). We demonstrate the effectiveness of the methodology on a synthetic pathway with and without feedback inhibition. Similarly, for the first time, the Central Carbon Metabolic (CCM) pathways of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Homo sapiens have been modeled and compared based on the above understanding. The optimal pathway, which maximizes the amount of the target product(s), is selected from all those obtained by the proposed method. For this, we have observed the concentration of the product inhibited enzymes of CCM pathway and its influence on its corresponding metabolite/substrate. We have also studied the concentration of the enzymes which are responsible for the synthesis of target products. We further hypothesize that an optimal pathway would opt for higher flux rate reactions. In light of these observations, we can say that an optimal pathway should have lower enzyme concentration and higher flux rates. Finally, we demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method by comparing it with the extreme pathway analysis.

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