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Challenges to be faced in the reconstruction of metabolic networks from public databases

Challenges to be faced in the reconstruction of metabolic networks from public databases

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In the post-genomic era, the biochemical information for individual compounds, enzymes, reactions to be found within named organisms has become readily available. The well-known KEGG and BioCyc databases provide a comprehensive catalogue for this information and have thereby substantially aided the scientific community. Using these databases, the complement of enzymes present in a given organism can be determined and, in principle, used to reconstruct the metabolic network. However, such reconstructed networks contain numerous properties contradicting biological expectation. The metabolic networks for a number of organisms are reconstructed from KEGG and BioCyc databases, and features of these networks are related to properties of their originating database.

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