New method for metabolic flux ratio analysis

I’m happy to announce that our work on analysis of metabolic flux ratios in human cells is now published in Metabolic Engineering. A flux ratio is the relative amount of metabolic flux that one reaction contributes to a metabolite pool — for example, the fraction of citrate that is derived from reductive carboxylation by isocitrate dehydrogenase. In cases where it is difficult to do absolute quantification of fluxes experimentally (particularly in vivo models), these are important parameters to estimate, and in this paper, we study several models of metabolic systems and try to get a handle on which flux ratios can be accurately estimated.

This is still a work in progress — we don’t know exactly how to choose parameters to get the optimal amount of information out of an experiment, and there is much to be done in testing these methods on a variety of experimental systems — but I think it’s a good step along the way. Enjoy!  :-)

A visualized experiment

I’m happy to announce that Irena’s methodology for metabolomics on sorted cell population has now been published as a video article in the Journal of Visualized Experiments.   We hope this movie helps illustrate the how this powerful technique can be used to study metabolism in complex cell communities.

A particularly interesting application of this method is to study metabolic cooperation between cell types, in co-culture systems or even in vivo. If you are interested in such experiments, let us know!