Categorization of metabolome in bacterial systems



Shweta Kolhi1* & A S Kolaskar2



1Bioinformatics Center, University of Pune, Pune 411007, India; 2KIIT University, Bhubaneswar - 751024, India.


Email; *Corresponding author


Article Type




Received March 28, 2012; Accepted April 03, 2012; Published April 13, 2012



Analyses of biological databases such as those of genome, proteome, metabolome etc., have given insights in organization of biological systems. However, current efforts do not utilize the complete potential of available metabolome data. In this study, metabolome of bacterial systems with reliable annotations are analyzed and a simple method is developed to categorize pathways hierarchically, using rational approach. Ninety-four bacterial systems having for each >250 annotated metabolic pathways were used to identify a set of common pathways. 42 pathways were present in all bacteria which are termed as Core/Stage I pathways. This set of pathways was used along with interacting compounds to categorize pathways in the metabolome hierarchically. In each metabolome non-interacting pathways were identified including at each stage. The case study of Escherichia coli O157, having 433 annotated pathways, shows that 378 pathways interact directly or indirectly with 41 core pathways while 14 pathways are non-interacting.  These 378 pathways are distributed in Stage II (289), Stage III (75), Stage IV (13) and Stage V (1) category.  The approach discussed here allows understanding of the complexity of metabolic networks. It has pointed out that core pathways could be most ancient pathways and compounds that interact with maximum pathways may be compounds with high biosynthetic potential, which can be easily identified. Further, it was shown that interactions of pathways at various stages could be one to one, one to many, many to one or many to many mappings through interacting compounds. The granularity of the method discussed being high; the impact of perturbation in a pathway on the metabolome and particularly sub networks can be studied precisely. The categorizations of metabolic pathways help in identifying choke point enzymes that are useful to identify probable drug targets. The Metabolic categorizations for 94 bacteria are available at



Kolhi1 & Kolaskar, Bioinformation 8(7): 309-315 (2012)

Edited by

P Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.