Metabolic reconstruction, constraint-based analysis and game theory to probe genome-scale metabolic networks

Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Eytan RuppinStefan Schuster


With the advent of modern omics technologies, it has become feasible to reconstruct (quasi-) whole-cell metabolic networks and characterize them in more and more detail. Computer simulations of the dynamic behavior of such networks are difficult due to a lack of kinetic data and to computational limitations. In contrast, network analysis based on appropriate constraints such as the steady-state condition (constraint-based analysis) is feasible and allows one to derive conclusions about the system's metabolic capabilities. Here, we review methods for the reconstruction of metabolic networks, modeling techniques such as flux balance analysis and elementary flux modes and current progress in their development and applications. Game-theoretical methods for studying metabolic networks are discussed as well.


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