Infoscience

Journal article

Reconstruction of biological pathways and metabolic networks from in silico labeled metabolites

Reaction atom mappings track the positional changes of all of the atoms between the substrates and the products as they undergo the biochemical transformation. However, information on atom transitions in the context of metabolic pathways is not widely available in the literature. The understanding of metabolic pathways at the atomic level is of great importance as it can deconvolute the overlapping catabolic/anabolic pathways resulting in the observed metabolic phenotype. The automated identification of atom transitions within a metabolic network is a very challenging task since the degree of complexity of metabolic networks dramatically increases when we transit from metabolite-level studies to atom-level studies. Despite being studied extensively in various approaches, the field of atom mapping of metabolic networks is lacking an automated approach, which (i) accounts for the information of reaction mechanism for atom mapping and (ii) is extendable from individual atom-mapped reactions to atom-mapped reaction networks. Hereby, we introduce a computational framework, iAM. NICE (in silico Atom Mapped Network Integrated Computational Explorer), for the systematic atom-level reconstruction of metabolic networks from in silico labelled substrates. iAM. NICE is to our knowledge the first automated atom-mapping algorithm that is based on the underlying enzymatic biotransformation mechanisms, and its application goes beyond individual reactions and it can be used for the reconstruction of atommapped metabolic networks. We illustrate the applicability of our method through the reconstruction of atom-mapped reactions of the KEGG database and we provide an example of an atomlevel representation of the core metabolic network of E. coli.

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