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Nat Rev Genet. 2014 Feb;15(2):107-20. doi: 10.1038/nrg3643. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

Constraint-based models predict metabolic and associated cellular functions.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, California 92093-0412, USA.


The prediction of cellular function from a genotype is a fundamental goal in biology. For metabolism, constraint-based modelling methods systematize biochemical, genetic and genomic knowledge into a mathematical framework that enables a mechanistic description of metabolic physiology. The use of constraint-based approaches has evolved over ~30 years, and an increasing number of studies have recently combined models with high-throughput data sets for prospective experimentation. These studies have led to validation of increasingly important and relevant biological predictions. As reviewed here, these recent successes have tangible implications in the fields of microbial evolution, interaction networks, genetic engineering and drug discovery.

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