Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2013 Dec;24(6):987-93. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2013.03.014. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Somewhat in control--the role of transcription in regulating microbial metabolic fluxes.

Author information

Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 16, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland; Life Science Zurich PhD Program on Systems Biology, Zurich, Switzerland.


The most common way for microbes to control their metabolism is by controlling enzyme levels through transcriptional regulation. Yet recent studies have shown that in many cases, perturbations to the transcriptional regulatory network do not result in altered metabolic phenotypes on the level of the flux distribution. We suggest that this may be a consequence of cells protecting their metabolism against stochastic fluctuations in expression as well as enabling a fast response for those fluxes that may need to be changed quickly. Furthermore, it is impossible for a regulatory program to guarantee optimal expression levels in all conditions. Several studies have found examples of demonstrably suboptimal regulation of gene expression, and improvements to the regulatory network have been investigated in laboratory evolution experiments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center