Improved computational performance of MFA using elementary metabolite units and flux coupling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Extending the scope of isotope mapping models becomes increasingly important in order to analyze strains and drive improved product yields as more complex pathways are engineered into strains and as secondary metabolites are used as starting points for new products. Here we present how the elementary metabolite unit (EMU) framework and flux coupling significantly decrease the computational burden of metabolic flux analysis (MFA) when applied to large-scale metabolic models. We applied these techniques to a previously published isotope mapping model of Escherichia coli accounting for 238 reactions. We find that the combined use of EMU and flux coupling analysis leads to a ten-fold decrease in the number of variables in comparison to the original isotope distribution vector (IDV) version of the model. In addition, using OptMeas the task of identifying additional measurement choices to fully specify the flows in the metabolic network required only 2% of the computation time of the one using IDVs. The observed computational savings reveal the rapid progress in performing MFA with increasingly larger isotope models with the ultimate goal of handling genome-scale models of metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalMetabolic engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Improved computational performance of MFA using elementary metabolite units and flux coupling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this