Predicting metabolic fluxes from omics data via machine learning: Moving from knowledge-driven towards data-driven approaches

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Abstract

The accurate prediction of phenotypes in microorganisms is a main challenge for systems biology. Genome-scale models (GEMs) are a widely used mathematical formalism for predicting metabolic fluxes using constraint-based modeling methods such as flux balance analysis (FBA). However, they require prior knowledge of the metabolic network of an organism and appropriate objective functions, often hampering the prediction of metabolic fluxes under different conditions. Moreover, the integration of omics data to improve the accuracy of phenotype predictions in different physiological states is still in its infancy. Here, we present a novel approach for predicting fluxes under various conditions. We explore the use of supervised machine learning (ML) models using transcriptomics and/or proteomics data and compare their performance against the standard parsimonious FBA (pFBA) approach using case studies of Escherichia coli organism as an example. Our results show that the proposed omics-based ML approach is promising to predict both internal and external metabolic fluxes with smaller prediction errors in comparison to the pFBA approach. The code, data, and detailed results are available at the project's repository [1].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4960-4973
Number of pages14
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Flux balance analysis
  • Genome-scale models
  • Metabolic fluxes
  • Omics data
  • Supervised machine learning
  • Systems biology

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