Evolutionary computation for predicting optimal reaction knockouts and enzyme modulation strategies

By Evangelista, P.; Rocha, M.; Rocha, I.

2013 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2013



One of the main purposes of Metabolic Engineering is the quantitative prediction of cell behaviour under selected genetic modifications. These methods can then be used to support adequate strain optimization algorithms in a outer layer. The purpose of the present study is to explore methods in which dynamical models provide for phenotype simulation methods, that will be used as a basis for strain optimization algorithms to indicate enzyme under/over expression or deletion of a few reactions as to maximize the production of compounds with industrial interest. This work details the developed optimization algorithms, based on Evolutionary Computation approaches, to enhance the production of a target metabolite by finding an adequate set of reaction deletions or by changing the levels of expression of a set of enzymes. To properly evaluate the strains, the ratio of the flux value associated with the target metabolite divided by the wild-type counterpart was employed as a fitness function. The devised algorithms were applied to the maximization of Serine production by Escherichia coli, using a dynamic kinetic model of the central carbon metabolism. In this case study, the proposed algorithms reached a set of solutions with higher quality, as compared to the ones described in the literature using distinct optimization techniques.


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