Enzyme catalyzed reactions: From experiment to computational mechanism reconstruction


The traditional experimental practice in enzyme kinetics involves the measurement of substrate or product concentrations as a function of time. Advances in computing have produced novel approaches for modeling enzyme catalyzed reactions from time course data. One example of such an approach is the selection of appropriate chemical reactions that best fit the data. A common limitation of this approach resides in the number of chemical species considered. The number of possible chemical reactions grows exponentially with the number of chemical species, which makes difficult to select reactions that uniquely describe the data and diminishes the efficiency of the methods. In addition, a method’s performance is also dependent on several quantitative and qualitative properties of the time course data, of which we know very little. This information is important to experimentalists as it could allow them to setup their experiments in ways that optimize the network reconstruction. We have previously described a method for inferring reaction mechanisms and kinetic rate parameters from time course data. Here, we address the limitations in the number of chemical reactions by allowing the introduction of information about chemical interactions. We also address the unknown properties of the input data by determining experimental data properties that maximize our method’s performance. We investigate the following properties: initial substrate-enzyme concentration ratios; initial substrate-enzyme concentration variation ranges: number of data points; number of different experiments (time courses); and noise. We test the method using data generated in silico from the Michaelis-Menten and the Hartley-Kilby reaction mechanisms. Our results demonstrate the importance of experimental design for time course assays that has not been considered in experimental protocols. These considerations can have far reaching implications for the computational mechanism reconstruction process. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.