The Design of FluxML: A Universal Modeling Language for 13C Metabolic Flux Analysis

Martin Beyß, Salah Azzouzi, Michael Weitzel, Wolfgang Wiechert, Katharina Nöh
2019 Frontiers in Microbiology  
13C metabolic flux analysis (MFA) is the method of choice when a detailed inference of intracellular metabolic fluxes in living organisms under metabolic quasi-steady state conditions is desired. Being continuously developed since two decades, the technology made major contributions to the quantitative characterization of organisms in all fields of biotechnology and health-related research. 13C MFA, however, stands out from other "-omics sciences," in that it requires not only
more » ... tical data, but also mathematical models and a computational toolset to infer the quantities of interest, i.e., the metabolic fluxes. At present, these models cannot be conveniently exchanged between different labs. Here, we present the implementation-independent model description language FluxML for specifying 13C MFA models. The core of FluxML captures the metabolic reaction network together with atom mappings, constraints on the model parameters, and the wealth of data configurations. In particular, we describe the governing design processes that shaped the FluxML language. We demonstrate the utility of FluxML to represent many contemporary experimental-analytical requirements in the field of 13C MFA. The major aim of FluxML is to offer a sound, open, and future-proof language to unambiguously express and conserve all the necessary information for model re-use, exchange, and comparison. Along with FluxML, several powerful computational tools are supplied for easy handling, but also to maintain a maximum of flexibility. Altogether, the FluxML collection is an "all-around carefree package" for 13C MFA modelers. We believe that FluxML improves scientific productivity as well as transparency and therewith contributes to the efficiency and reproducibility of computational modeling efforts in the field of 13C MFA.
doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.01022 pmid:31178829 pmcid:PMC6543931 fatcat:ayaug7q5bfcwvou327gieyjslq