Sep 1, 2015

Complex systems in metabolic engineering

Current Opinion in Biotechnology
James D WinklerRyan T Gill

Abstract

Metabolic engineers manipulate intricate biological networks to build efficient biological machines. The inherent complexity of this task, derived from the extensive and often unknown interconnectivity between and within these networks, often prevents researchers from achieving desired performance. Other fields have developed methods to tackle the issue of complexity for their unique subset of engineering problems, but to date, there has not been extensive and comprehensive examination of how metabolic engineers use existing tools to ameliorate this effect on their own research projects. In this review, we examine how complexity affects engineering at the protein, pathway, and genome levels within an organism, and the tools for handling these issues to achieve high-performing strain designs. Quantitative complexity metrics and their applications to metabolic engineering versus traditional engineering fields are also discussed. We conclude by predicting how metabolic engineering practices may advance in light of an explicit consideration of design complexity.

  • References52
  • Citations3

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Biochemical Pathway
Genome
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
Gene Products, Protein
Research Personnel
Research Project
Engineer
Organism
Metabolic Engineering

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