Exploring the effect of variable enzyme concentrations in a kinetic model of yeast glycolysis

Genome Inform. 2008;20:1-14.


Metabolism is one of the best studied fields of biochemistry, but its regulation involves processes on many different levels, some of which are still not understood well enough to allow for quantitative modeling and prediction. Glycolysis in yeast is a good example: although high-quality quantitative data are available, well-established mathematical models typically only cover direct regulation of the involved enzymes by metabolite binding. The effect of various metabolites on the enzyme kinetics is summarized in carefully developed mathematical formulae. However, this approach implicitly assumes that the enzyme concentrations themselves are constant, thus neglecting other regulatory levels--e.g. transcriptional and translational regulation--involved in the regulation of enzyme activities. It is believed, however, that different experimental conditions result in different enzyme activities regulated by the above mechanisms. Detailed modeling of all regulatory levels is still out of reach since some of the necessary data--e.g. quantitative large scale enzyme concentration data sets--are lacking or rare. Nevertheless, a viable approach is to include the regulation of enzyme concentrations into an established model and to investigate whether this improves the predictive capabilities. Proteome data are usually hard to obtain, but levels of mRNA transcripts may be used instead as clues for changes in enzyme concentrations. Here we investigate whether including mRNA data into an established model of yeast glycolysis allows to predict the steady state metabolic concentrations for different experimental conditions. To this end, we modified an established ODE model for the glycolytic pathway of yeast to include changes of enzyme concentrations. Presumable changes were inferred from mRNA transcript level measurement data. We investigate how this approach can be used to predict metabolite concentrations for steady-state yeast cultures at five different oxygen levels ranging from anaerobic to fully aerobic conditions. We were partly able to reproduce the experimental data and present a number of changes that were necessary to improve the modeling result.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Glycolysis / genetics*
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic
  • NAD / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • RNA, Fungal / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Yeasts / genetics
  • Yeasts / metabolism*


  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Messenger
  • NAD