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Metabolism at Evolutionary Optimal States

Department of Systems Bioinformatics, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
NIZO Food Research, 6718 ZB Ede, The Netherlands
Top Institute Food and Nutrition, 6700 AN Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christoph Kaleta
Metabolites 2015, 5(2), 311-343;
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 25 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Systems Biology)
PDF [1707 KB, uploaded 2 June 2015]


Metabolism is generally required for cellular maintenance and for the generation of offspring under conditions that support growth. The rates, yields (efficiencies), adaptation time and robustness of metabolism are therefore key determinants of cellular fitness. For biotechnological applications and our understanding of the evolution of metabolism, it is necessary to figure out how the functional system properties of metabolism can be optimized, via adjustments of the kinetics and expression of enzymes, and by rewiring metabolism. The trade-offs that can occur during such optimizations then indicate fundamental limits to evolutionary innovations and bioengineering. In this paper, we review several theoretical and experimental findings about mechanisms for metabolic optimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: evolution; metabolism; optimality; fitness landscapes; selection pressure; trade-offs evolution; metabolism; optimality; fitness landscapes; selection pressure; trade-offs

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rabbers, I.; Van Heerden, J.H.; Nordholt, N.; Bachmann, H.; Teusink, B.; Bruggeman, F.J. Metabolism at Evolutionary Optimal States. Metabolites 2015, 5, 311-343.

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