|Extreme pathway analysis of human red blood cell metabolism.
|Year of Publication
|S.J. Wiback; B.Ø. Palsson
|PLoS Comput Biol
|The development of high-throughput technologies and the resulting large-scale data sets have necessitated a systems approach to the analysis of metabolic networks. One way to approach the issue of complex metabolic function is through the calculation and interpretation of extreme pathways. Extreme pathways are a mathematically defined set of generating vectors that describe the conical steady-state solution space for flux distributions through an entire metabolic network. Herein, the extreme pathways of the well-characterized human red blood cell metabolic network were calculated and interpreted in a biochemical and physiological context. These extreme pathways were divided into groups based on such criteria as their cofactor and by-product production, and carbon inputs including those that 1) convert glucose to pyruvate; 2) interchange pyruvate and lactate; 3) produce 2,3-diphosphoglycerate that binds to hemoglobin; 4) convert inosine to pyruvate; 5) induce a change in the total adenosine pool; and 6) dissipate ATP. Additionally, results from a full kinetic model of red blood cell metabolism were predicted based solely on an interpretation of the extreme pathway structure. The extreme pathways for the red blood cell thus give a concise representation of red blood cell metabolism and a way to interpret its metabolic physiology.