Author(s): Lemke N, Herdia F, Barcellos CK, Dos Reis AN, Mombach JC
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Understanding the architecture of physiological functions from annotated genome sequences is a major task for postgenomic biology. From the annotated genome sequence of the microbe Escherichia coli, we propose a general quantitative definition of enzyme importance in a metabolic network. Using a graph analysis of its metabolism, we relate the extent of the topological damage generated in the metabolic network by the deletion of an enzyme to the experimentally determined viability of the organism in the absence of that enzyme. We show that the network is robust and that the extent of the damage relates to enzyme importance. We predict that a large fraction (91\%) of enzymes causes little damage when removed, while a small group (9\%) can cause serious damage. Experimental results confirm that this group contains the majority of essential enzymes. The results may reveal a universal property of metabolic networks.
This article was published in Bioinformatics
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology