Computer Simulation of Metabolism
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The technology to genetically engineer specific steps in metabolism has advanced rapidly during the last decade. The advent of "metabolic engineering" to create transgenic organisms with altered metabolism requires that technologies also be developed to evaluate the metabolic fluxes that occur within these transgenic organisms relative to wild-type. Stable isotope and radioisotope tracer methods for monitoring the labeling kinetics of intermediates in metabolic pathways are well established tools that can be readily applied to these problems. However, the utility of these isotopic tracer methods is greatly enhanced when the resulting isotopic kinetic data is analyzed quantitatively with computer models. This site describes some simple computer routines that can be used to interpret stable isotope and radioisotope tracer kinetics in terms of metabolic fluxes and compartmentation of pools.