AliveX Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder Dr. Dimitris Christodoulou has published a co-first-authored paper, on the cover of Molecular Systems Biology's (Impact Factor: 11.4) 2022 January issue. The paper is entitled "Glycolysis/gluconeogenesis specialization in microbes is driven by biochemical constraints of flux sensing" and was written during his time in Harvard. Other co-authors come from Prof. Markus Basan's group at the Department of Systems Biology, Harvard University, and Prof. Uwe Sauer's group at the Department of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich.
In this work, Schink and Christodoulou et al studies the dynamic reorganization of central metabolism after switches between the two major opposing pathway configurations of central carbon metabolism, glycolysis, and gluconeogenesis in Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas putida. Computational mechanistic modelling and multi-omics data were used to uncover the fact that microbes face a series of fundamental trade-offs that limit their ability to quickly adapt to both glycolytic and gluconeogenic growth in fluctuating environments. Many microbes have become specialists for only one of these flux directions and exhibit a striking asymmetry in their switching speed. As an analogy, one can think of an athlete choosing to train to become a top marathon runner or an elite weight lifter - the athlete cannot do both at the same time. This significant discovery and the identification of the fundamental trade-offs, through computational modelling, can explain why microorganisms specialize in either glycolytic or gluconeogenic substrates and help elucidate the complex growth patterns exhibited by different species. Computational mechanistic modelling is proved to be an approach that can disrupt the way we conduct research with implications in academia but even more so in the life sciences industry.
Read more: Schink and Christodoulou et al.