Metabolic models

Cellular metabolism consists of thousands of enzymatic reactions that extract energy from nutrients and assemble macromolecules that are necessary for cell survival. The size and complexity of metabolic networks can often obscure the roles of functionally related reactions on the overall distribution of metabolic fluxes. Moreover, different environmental contexts force the cell to reshape the distribution of fluxes to accommodate for changes in nutritional conditions subject to chemical and thermodynamical constraints.

Here we present a systematic procedure to obtain informative and realistic network descriptions of metabolism that incorporate different layers of information and are tailored to different environmental contexts. We build a family of networks that incorporate the directionality of fluxes, stoichiometry of reactions, and optimal flux distributions predicted by Flux Balance Analysis (FBA). These models can then be analysed using the rich repertoire of techniques from network science.

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