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Tracing insights into human metabolism using chemical engineering approaches.

  • Author(s): Cordes, Thekla
  • Metallo, Christian M
  • et al.
Abstract

Metabolism coordinates the conversion of available nutrients toward energy, biosynthetic intermediates, and signaling molecules to mediate virtually all biological functions. Dysregulation of metabolic pathways contributes to many diseases, so a detailed understanding of human metabolism has significant therapeutic implications. Over the last decade major technological advances in the areas of analytical chemistry, computational estimation of intracellular fluxes, and biological engineering have improved our ability to observe and engineer metabolic pathways. These approaches are reminiscent of the design, operation, and control of industrial chemical plants. Immune cells have emerged as an intriguing system in which metabolism influences diverse biological functions. Application of metabolic flux analysis and related approaches to macrophages and T cells offers great therapeutic opportunities to biochemical engineers.

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