Computational identification of altered metabolism using gene expression and metabolic pathways

Hojung Nam, Jinwon Lee, Doheon Lee
2009 Biotechnology and Bioengineering  
Understanding altered metabolism is an important issue because altered metabolism is often revealed as a cause or an effect in pathogenesis. It has also been shown to be an important factor in the manipulation of an organism's metabolism in metabolic engineering. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to measure the concentration levels of all metabolites in the genome-wide scale of a metabolic network; consequently, a method that infers the alteration of metabolism is beneficial. The present
more » ... dy proposes a computational method that identifies genomewide altered metabolism by analyzing functional units of KEGG pathways. As control of a metabolic pathway is accomplished by altering the activity of at least one ratedetermining step enzyme, not all gene expressions of enzymes in the pathway demonstrate significant changes even if the pathway is altered. Therefore, we measure the alteration levels of a metabolic pathway by selectively observing expression levels of significantly changed genes in a pathway. The proposed method was applied to two strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene expression profiles measured in very high-gravity (VHG) fermentation. The method identified altered metabolic pathways whose properties are related to ethanol and osmotic stress responses which had been known to be observed in VHG fermentation because of the high sugar concentration in growth media and high ethanol concentration in fermentation products. With the identified altered pathways, the proposed method achieved best accuracy and sensitivity rates for the Red Star (RS) strain compared to other three related studies (gene-set enrichment analysis (GSEA), significance analysis of microarray to gene set (SAM-GS), reporter metabolite), and for the CEN.PK 113-7D (CEN) strain, the proposed method and the GSEA method showed comparably similar performances.
doi:10.1002/bit.22320 pmid:19378263 fatcat:e42ztwxjavbhtpeql6srdjmjjm