Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.115, No.7, 1829-1841, 2018
Optimization of bioprocess productivity based on metabolic-genetic network models with bilevel dynamic programming
One of the main goals of metabolic engineering is to obtain high levels of a microbial product through genetic modifications. To improve the productivity of such a process, the dynamic implementation of metabolic engineering strategies has been proven to be more beneficial compared to static genetic manipulations in which the gene expression is not controlled over time, by resolving the trade-off between growth and production. In this work, a bilevel optimization framework based on constraint-based models is applied to identify an optimal strategy for dynamic genetic and process level manipulations to increase productivity. The dynamic enzyme-cost flux balance analysis (deFBA) as underlying metabolic network model captures the network dynamics and enables the analysis of temporal regulation in the metabolic-genetic network. We apply our computational framework to maximize ethanol productivity in a batch process with Escherichia coli. The results highlight the importance of integrating the genetic level and enzyme production and degradation processes for obtaining optimal dynamic gene and process manipulations.