Metabolic flux analysis (MFA) has so far been restricted to lumped networks lacking many important pathways, partly due to the difficulty in automatically generating isotope mapping matrices for genome-scale metabolic networks. Here we introduce a procedure that uses a compound matching algorithm based on the graph theoretical concept of pattern recognition along with relevant reaction information to automatically generate genome-scale atom mappings which trace the path of atoms from reactants to products for every reaction. The procedure is applied to the iAF1260 metabolic reconstruction of Escherichia coli yielding the genome-scale isotope mapping model imPR90068. This model maps 90,068 non-hydrogen atoms that span all 2,077 reactions present in iAF1260 (previous largest mapping model included 238 reactions). The expanded scope of the isotope mapping model allows the complete tracking of labeled atoms through pathways such as cofactor and prosthetic group biosynthesis and histidine metabolism. An EMU representation of imPR90068 is also constructed and made available. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2011; 108:1372–1382. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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