Metabolic networks: biology meets engineering sciences

  • A. Kremling
  • J. Stelling
  • K. Bettenbrock
  • S. Fischer
  • E.D. Gilles
Part of the Topics in Current Genetics book series (TCG, volume 13)


A hallmark of systems biology is the interdisciplinary approach to the complexity of biological systems, in which mathematical modeling constitutes an important part. Here, we use the example of sugar metabolism in the simple bacterium Escherichia coli and its associated control to illustrate the process of model development. Even for this well-characterized biological system, a close interaction between experimentation and theoretical analysis revealed novel, unexpected features. Additionally, the example shows how concepts from engineering sciences can facilitate the formal investigation of biological networks. More generally, we argue that analogies between complex biological and technical systems such as modular structures and common design principles provide crystallization points for fruitful research in both domains.


Metabolic Network Intracellular Glucose Diauxic Growth Lactose Permease Lactose Operon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Kremling
    • 1
  • J. Stelling
    • 2
  • K. Bettenbrock
    • 1
  • S. Fischer
    • 1
  • E.D. Gilles
    • 1
  1. 1.Systems biology group, Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik, komplexer technischer Systeme, Sandtorstr. 1, 39106 MagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Computational Science, ETH Zentrum HRS H 28, Hirschengraben 84, 8092 ZürichSwitzerland

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