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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:642420. doi: 10.1155/2010/642420. Epub 2010 Jun 28.

A metabolic model of human erythrocytes: practical application of the E-Cell Simulation Environment.

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Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan.


The human red blood cell (RBC) has long been used for modeling of complex biological networks, for elucidation of a wide variety of dynamic phenomena, and for understanding the fundamental topology of metabolic pathways. Here, we introduce our recent work on an RBC metabolic model using the E-Cell Simulation Environment. The model is sufficiently detailed to predict the temporal hypoxic response of each metabolite and, at the same time, successfully integrates modulation of metabolism and of the oxygen transporting capacity of hemoglobin. The model includes the mechanisms of RBC maintenance as a single cell system and the functioning of RBCs as components of a higher order system. Modeling of RBC metabolism is now approaching a fully mature stage of realistic predictions at the molecular level and will be useful for predicting conditions in biotechnological applications such as long-term cold storage of RBCs.

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