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See detailQuantitative prediction of cellular metabolism with constraint-based models: the COBRA Toolbox v2.0.
Schellenberger, Jan; Que, Richard; Fleming, Ronan MT UL et al

in Nature Protocols (2011), 6(9), 1290-1307

Over the past decade, a growing community of researchers has emerged around the use of constraint-based reconstruction and analysis (COBRA) methods to simulate, analyze and predict a variety of metabolic ... [more ▼]

Over the past decade, a growing community of researchers has emerged around the use of constraint-based reconstruction and analysis (COBRA) methods to simulate, analyze and predict a variety of metabolic phenotypes using genome-scale models. The COBRA Toolbox, a MATLAB package for implementing COBRA methods, was presented earlier. Here we present a substantial update of this in silico toolbox. Version 2.0 of the COBRA Toolbox expands the scope of computations by including in silico analysis methods developed since its original release. New functions include (i) network gap filling, (ii) (13)C analysis, (iii) metabolic engineering, (iv) omics-guided analysis and (v) visualization. As with the first version, the COBRA Toolbox reads and writes systems biology markup language-formatted models. In version 2.0, we improved performance, usability and the level of documentation. A suite of test scripts can now be used to learn the core functionality of the toolbox and validate results. This toolbox lowers the barrier of entry to use powerful COBRA methods. [less ▲]

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See detailFunctional characterization of alternate optimal solutions of Escherichia coli's transcriptional and translational machinery.
Thiele, Ines UL; Fleming, Ronan MT UL; Bordbar, Aarash et al

in Biophysical Journal (2010), 98(10), 2072-81

The constraint-based reconstruction and analysis approach has recently been extended to describe Escherichia coli's transcriptional and translational machinery. Here, we introduce the concept of reaction ... [more ▼]

The constraint-based reconstruction and analysis approach has recently been extended to describe Escherichia coli's transcriptional and translational machinery. Here, we introduce the concept of reaction coupling to represent the dependency between protein synthesis and utilization. These coupling constraints lead to a significant contraction of the feasible set of steady-state fluxes. The subset of alternate optimal solutions (AOS) consistent with maximal ribosome production was calculated. The majority of transcriptional and translational reactions were active for all of these AOS, showing that the network has a low degree of redundancy. Furthermore, all calculated AOS contained the qualitative expression of at least 92% of the known essential genes. Principal component analysis of AOS demonstrated that energy currencies (ATP, GTP, and phosphate) dominate the network's capability to produce ribosomes. Additionally, we identified regulatory control points of the network, which include the transcription reactions of sigma70 (RpoD) as well as that of a degradosome component (Rne) and of tRNA charging (ValS). These reactions contribute significant variance among AOS. These results show that constraint-based modeling can be applied to gain insight into the systemic properties of E. coli's transcriptional and translational machinery. [less ▲]

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