Metabolic Engineering

Metabolic engineering is the use of genetic engineering to modify the metabolism of an organism. It can involve the optimization of existing biochemical pathways or the introduction of pathway components, most commonly in bacteria, yeast or plants, with the goal of high-yield production of specific metabolites for medicine or biotechnology. The ultimate goal of metabolic engineering is to be able to use these organisms to produce valuable substances on an industrial scale in  a cost effective manner. Current examples  include producing beer, wine, cheese, pharmaceuticals, and other biotechnology products. Some of the common strategies used for metabolic engineering are (1) overexpressing the gene encoding the rate-limiting enzyme of the biosynthetic pathway, (2) blocking the competing metabolic pathways, (3) heterologous gene expression, and (4) enzyme engineering. Metabolic flux analysis can be done in four different ways :

  • Setting up a metabolic pathway for analysis
  • Analyzing a metabolic pathway
  • Analyzing a metabolic pathway
  • Experimental measurements

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