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Flux-dependent graphs for metabolic networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Mariano Beguerisse-Díaz
  • Gabriel Bosque
  • Diego Oyarzún
  • Jesús Picó
  • Mauricio Barahona

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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41540-018-0067-y
Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Number of pages14
Journalnpj Systems Biology and Applications
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2018

Abstract

Cells adapt their metabolic fluxes in response to changes in the environment. We present a framework for the systematic construction of flux-based graphs derived from organism-wide metabolic networks. Our graphs encode the directionality of metabolic flows via edges that represent the flow of metabolites from source to target reactions. The methodology can be applied in the absence of a specific biological context by modelling fluxes probabilistically, or can be tailored to different environmental conditions by incorporating flux distributions computed through constraint-based approaches such as Flux Balance Analysis. We illustrate our approach on the central carbon metabolism of Escherichia coli and on a metabolic model of human hepatocytes. The flux-dependent graphs under various environmental conditions and genetic perturbations exhibit systemic changes in their topological and community structure, which capture the re-routing of metabolic flows and the varying importance of specific reactions and pathways. By integrating constraint-based models and tools from network science, our framework allows the study of context-specific metabolic responses at a system level beyond standard pathway descriptions.

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