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J Biotechnol. 1999 May 28;71(1-3):175-89.

Quantitative analysis of metabolic fluxes in Escherichia coli, using two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and complete isotopomer models.

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Center for Process Biotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby.


Complete isotopomer models that simulate distribution of label in 13C tracer experiments are applied to the quantification of metabolic fluxes in the primary carbon metabolism of E. coli under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The concept of isotopomer mapping matrices (IMMs) is used to simplify the formulation of isotopomer mass balances by expressing all isotopomer mass balances of a metabolite pool in a single matrix equation. A numerically stable method to calculate the steady-state isotopomer distribution in metabolic networks in introduced. Net values of intracellular fluxes and the degree of reversibility of enzymatic steps are estimated by minimization of the deviations between experimental and simulated measurements. The metabolic model applied includes the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas and the pentose phosphate pathway, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, anaplerotic reaction sequences and pathways involved in amino acid synthesis. The study clearly demonstrates the value of complete isotopomer models for maximizing the information obtainable from 13C tracer experiments. The approach applied here offers a completely general and comprehensive analysis of carbon tracer experiments where any set of experimental data on the labeling state and extracellular fluxes can be used for the quantification of metabolic fluxes in complex metabolic networks.

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