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Advances in Genome-Scale Metabolic Modeling toward Microbial Community Analysis of the Human Microbiome
ACS Synthetic Biology  (IF5.11),  Pub Date : 2021-08-17, DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.1c00140
Elif Esvap, Kutlu O. Ulgen

A genome-scale metabolic model (GEM) represents metabolic pathways of an organism in a mathematical form and can be built using biochemistry and genome annotation data. GEMs are invaluable for understanding organisms since they analyze the metabolic capabilities and behaviors quantitatively and can predict phenotypes. The development of high-throughput data collection techniques led to an immense increase in omics data such as metagenomics, which expand our knowledge on the human microbiome, but this also created a need for systematic analysis of these data. In recent years, GEMs have also been reconstructed for microbial species, including human gut microbiota, and methods for the analysis of microbial communities have been developed to examine the interaction between the organisms or the host. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive guide for the applications of GEMs in microbial community analysis. Starting with GEM repositories, automatic GEM reconstruction tools, and quality control of models, this review will give insights into microbe–microbe and microbe–host interaction predictions and optimization of microbial community models. Recent studies that utilize microbial GEMs and personalized models to infer the influence of microbiota on human diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) or Parkinson’s disease are exemplified. Being powerful system biology tools for both species-level and community-level analysis of microbes, GEMs integrated with omics data and machine learning techniques will be indispensable for studying the microbiome and their effects on human physiology as well as for deciphering the mechanisms behind human diseases.