Understanding how cellular metabolism works and is regulated requires that the underlying biochemical pathways be adequately represented and integrated with large metabolomic data sets to establish a robust network model. Genetically engineering energy crops to be less recalcitrant to saccharification requires detailed knowledge of plant polysaccharide structures and a thorough understanding of the metabolic pathways involved in forming and regulating cell-wall synthesis. Nucleotide-sugars are building blocks for synthesis of cell wall polysaccharides. The biosynthesis of nucleotide-sugars is catalyzed by a multitude of enzymes that reside in different subcellular organelles, and precise representation of these pathways requires accurate capture of this biological compartmentalization. The lack of simple localization cues in genomic sequence data and annotations however leads to missing compartmentalization information for eukaryotes in automatically generated databases, such as the Pathway-Genome Databases (PGDBs) of the SRI Pathway Tools software that drives much biochemical knowledge representation on the internet. In this report, we provide an informal mechanism using the existing Pathway Tools framework to integrate protein and metabolite sub-cellular localization data with the existing representation of the nucleotide-sugar metabolic pathways in a prototype PGDB for Populus trichocarpa. The enhanced pathway representations have been successfully used to map SNP abundance data to individual nucleotide-sugar biosynthetic genes in the PGDB. The manually curated pathway representations are more conducive to the construction of a computational platform that will allow the simulation of natural and engineered nucleotide-sugar precursor fluxes into specific recalcitrant polysaccharide(s).
pathway representation in PoplarCyc 1.0. Note that the pathway does not
distinguish cytosolic reaction with EC # 18.104.22.168 from the corresponding
reaction catalyzed by membrane-bound and Golgi-localized enzymes.
The enhanced representation of UDP-d-galacturonate biosynthesis II starting from d-galacturonate in prototype Populus PGDB.
Enhancing a Pathway-Genome Database (PGDB) to capture subcellular localization of metabolites and enzymes: the nucleotide-sugar biosynthetic pathways of Populus trichocarpa.
Nag A, Karpinets TV, Chang CH, Bar-Peled M.
Database (Oxford). 2012 Mar 31;2012:bas013. doi: 10.1093/database/bas013. Print 2012.