C-13 Tracer experiments and metabolite balancing for metabolic flux analysis: Comparing two approaches

Karsten Schmidt, A. Marx, A. A. de Graaf, W. Wiechert, H. Sahm, Jens Bredal Nielsen, John Villadsen

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    Conventional metabolic flux analysis uses the information gained from determination of measurable fluxes and a steady-state assumption for intracellular metabolites to calculate the metabolic fluxes in a given metabolic network. The determination of intracellular fluxes depends heavily on the correctness of the assumed stoichiometry including the presence of all reactions with a noticeable impact on the model metabolite balances. Determination of fluxes in complex metabolic networks often requires the inclusion of NADH and NADPH balances, which are subject: to controversial debate. Transhydrogenation reactions that transfer reduction equivalents From NADH to NADPH or vice versa can usually not be included in the stoichiometric model, because they result in singularities in the stoichiometric matrix. However, it is the NADPH balance that, to a large extent, determines the calculated flux through the pentose phosphate pathway. Hence, wrong assumptions on the presence or activity of transhydrogenation reactions will result in wrong estimations of the intracellular flux distribution. Using C-13 tracer experiments and NMR analysis, flux analysis can be performed on the basis of only well established stoichiometric equations and measurements of the labeling state of intracellular metabolites. Neither NADH/NADPH balancing nor assumptions on energy yields need to be included to determine the intracellular fluxes. Because metabolite balancing methods and the use of C-13 labeling measurements are two different approaches to the determination of intracellular fluxes, both methods can be used to verify each other or to discuss the origin and significance of deviations in the results. Flux analysis based entirely on metabolite balancing and flux analysis, including labeling information, have been performed independently for a wild-type strain of Aspergillus oryzae producing alpha-amylase. Two different nitrogen sources, NH4+ and NO3-, have been used to investigate the influence of the NADPH requirements on the intracellular flux distribution. The two different approaches to the calculation of fluxes are compared and deviations in the results are discussed. (C) 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
    Issue number2-3
    Pages (from-to)254-257
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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