Project 2 - University of South Florida
Project 2 - University of South Florida
Flux Balance Analysis of
Mitochondria Energy Metabolism
To characterize the optimal flux
distributions for maximal Adrenosine
Triphosphate(ATP) production in the
mitochondrion using flux balance
Mitochondrial metabolism is a critical
component in the functioning and
maintenance of cellular organs
It has a significant role in the
functions of aerobic organs and
other organs such as liver and brain .
Mitochondrial metabolism results the
genetic content can lead to change from
the action of several biochemical
reactions. Mutation can lead to changes
in enzyme expression.
This may alter the mitochondrial function
by changing fluxes of important metabolic
The biochemical reactions involved
function as a coordinated network subject
to stoichoimetry and regulatory
constraints. The objective of this study
was to develop a model for mitochondrial
Fundamentals of flux balance analysis
The fundamental principle underlying FBA
is the conservation of mass.
A flux balance can be written for each
metabolite (Xi) within a metabolic system
to yield the mass equations.
A steady state assumption is made which
states that the formation fluxes are
balanced by degradation fluxes.
Dynamic flux balances
dx/dt = S*v – b
v = fn(X,…..)
X = metabolite concentrations
S = stoichiometric matrix
v = metabolism reaction fluxes
b = net transport out of network
FBA postulates that the metabolic
system exhibits a metabolic state
that is optimal under some criteria.
This objective is expressed as a
linear combination of fluxes
contained in v
The model is formulated as a linear
programming problem as follows
Minimize(maximize) Z = civi
0 <= Bi <= vi <= ai
Z is the objective function, representing a
phenotype property, and c is a vector that are
either costs of or benefits derived from the
fluxes. The limits of ai and Bi represent known
constraints on the maximum or
minimum values that the fluxes assume.
When the maximization of ATP production is
considered, the net flux of ATP hydrolysis is
ADP + Pi
MAXIMIZE Z= V ATP_PR
As ATP breaks, a large amount of energy is released and it is broken
down into ADP(Adinosine diphosphate) and an organic molecule. The
shadow price and the reduced cost help optimize the solution. For the
objective of maximization of ATP production, if the value of shadow
price of NADH is 3 that means an additional molecule of NADH can
generate three more molecules of ATP.
•The diagram shows the role of malate aspartate
shuttle in the mitochondria. Shuttles play a
important role in transporting reducing
equivalents produced in the cytosol into the
- the ubiquitous malate aspartate shuttle
transports external NADH into the
mitochondrion. The coordinated exchange
exchange of malate and ketoglutarate with
aspartate and glutamate by respective
antiporters is a key feature of the shuttle.
The model predicted the expected
ATP yields for glucose, lactate and
Genetic defects that affect
mitochondrial functions have been
implicated in several human
•The simulations were carried out for the three
substrates, glucose,lactate and palmitic acid.
The complete utilzation of 1 mol of glucose
results in the formation of 38 ATP with the
concomitant utilization of 6 mol of oxygen.
The utilization of 1 mol of lactate forms 17.5
ATP with the utilization of 3 mol of oxygen
and palmitic acid produces 129 ATP but
requires 23 mol of oxygen.
In normal functioning hearts under
aerobic conditions, free fatty acids(FFA)
are primarily used for energy production.
FBA predicts that under these
circumstances, the ideal substrate to
maximize ATP production is glucose.
However it is known that FFA metabolism
inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase(PDH)
activities and reduces the flux through of
This metabolic regulation can be
modeled in the FBA model by
constraining the the fluxes
through these enzymes.
The FBA model can be used to
evaluate the systemic
consequences of reduced enzyme
activity. Mathematically, this is
equivalent to setting a constraint
on a specific flux to be either
zero or some specific value.
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