Affiliation: LEPABE, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal.
Metabolic Engineering (ME) provides the know-how for the reconstruction of microorganisms, in order to provide higher production rates of biotechnological products and increase their potential application in several industries, particularly those pharmaceutical, food and environmental. However, microbial metabolic cell reconstruction has limitations. Metabolic Control Analysis (MCA) allows the evaluation of the reliability of the changes performed by ME, emphasizing the importance of the whole pathways rather than individual pathway reactions resulting from simple flux analysis. This led to an increased emphasis on the regulatory structure of the network. The use of MCA becomes indispensable to quantify metabolic parameters, particularly those related with direct genetic modifications. However, this type of analysis is not a common practice. In the present study MCA is exemplified as a tool of ME, being demonstrated its practical application in drug delivery and in the production of three relevant biotechnological products (penicillin V, llysine and glycerol).