Optimality and the structure of central metabolism

13 Feb 2009

Uri Alon
Weizmann Institute and
Department of Systems Biology
Harvard Medical School


Central metabolism uses a complex series of enzymatic steps to convert sugars into metabolic precursors. These precursors are then used to generate the entire biomass of the cell. Are there simplifying principles that can explain the structure of such metabolic networks? I will address this by discussing classic work by Meléndez-Hevia and recent work in my lab (by Elad Noor) which relates the structure of metabolism to optimal solutions of games which describe transformations on the biochemical structure of each compound. We will discuss how this approach might be used to design new optimal pathways for making or degrading desired compounds.


current theory lunch schedule