Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Genome Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Method

RELATCH: relative optimality in metabolic networks explains robust metabolic and regulatory responses to perturbations

Joonhoon Kim12 and Jennifer L Reed12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

2 DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Genome Biology 2012, 13:R78  doi:10.1186/gb-2012-13-9-r78

Published: 26 September 2012

Abstract

Predicting cellular responses to perturbations is an important task in systems biology. We report a new approach, RELATCH, which uses flux and gene expression data from a reference state to predict metabolic responses in a genetically or environmentally perturbed state. Using the concept of relative optimality, which considers relative flux changes from a reference state, we hypothesize a relative metabolic flux pattern is maintained from one state to another, and that cells adapt to perturbations using metabolic and regulatory reprogramming to preserve this relative flux pattern. This constraint-based approach will have broad utility where predictions of metabolic responses are needed.