Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2020; 25(6): 931-943  
Genome-scale Modeling of Metabolism and Macromolecular Expression and Their Applications
Sanjeev Dahal, Jiao Zhao, and Laurence Yang
Sanjeev Dahal, Jiao Zhao, Laurence Yang*
Department of Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Tel: +1-613-530-6674; Fax: +1-613-533-6637
Received: February 24, 2020; Revised: June 5, 2020; Accepted: June 6, 2020; Published online: December 31, 2020.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Genome-scale models (GEMs) are predictive tools to study genotype-phenotype relationships in biological systems. Initially, genome-scale models were used for predicting the metabolic state of the organism given the nutrient condition and genetic perturbation (if any). Such metabolic (M-) models have been successfully developed for diverse organisms in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In this review, we focus our attention to genome-scale models of metabolism and macromolecular expression or ME-models. ME-models expand the scope of M-models by incorporating macromolecular biosynthesis pathways of transcription and translation. ME-models can predict the proteome investment in metabolism under any given condition. Therefore, ME-models significantly improve the quantitative prediction of gene expression. Unlike Mmodels that can predict biological properties in only nutrient-limited condition, ME-models can do so in both nutrient- and proteome-limited conditions. There are a few limitations of ME-models, many of which have now been largely overcome, making them more attractive to the broader research community. We finally discuss the applications of GEMs in general, and how they have been applied for biomedical, bioengineering and bioremediation purposes.
Keywords: genome-scale models, GEMs, ME-models

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