Integration of metabolomics data into metabolic networks

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Metabolite levels together with their corresponding metabolic fluxes are integrative outcomes of biochemical transformations and regulatory processes and they can be used to characterize the response of biological systems to genetic and/or environmental changes. However, while changes in transcript or to some extent protein levels can usually be traced back to one or several responsible genes, changes in fluxes and particularly changes in metabolite levels do not follow such rationale and are often the outcome of complex interactions of several components. The increasing quality and coverage of metabolomics technologies have fostered the development of computational approaches for integrating metabolic read-outs with large-scale models to predict the physiological state of a system. Constraint-based approaches, relying on the stoichiometry of the considered reactions, provide a modeling framework amenable to analyses of large-scale systems and to the integration of high-throughput data. Here we review the existing approaches that integrate metabolomics data in variants of constrained-based approaches to refine model reconstructions, to constrain flux predictions in metabolic models, and to relate network structural properties to metabolite levels. Finally, we discuss the challenges and perspectives in the developments of constraint-based modeling approaches driven by metabolomics data.




Töpfer, N., Kleessen, S., & Nikoloski, Z. (2015, February 17). Integration of metabolomics data into metabolic networks. Frontiers in Plant Science. Frontiers Research Foundation.

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