Interactive Metabolic Pathway Tools (IMP Tools) is an open source, web based program that involves model-guided cellular engineering where new metabolic functions can be added to existing microorganisms. This program will assist in the design stage of synthetic biology research. IMP tools is written primarily in python using the Django web framework. It takes a user-defined input compound, output compound, and weighting scheme and determines the ideal pathway from the starting to the ending compound. Our program presents an exciting capability to help transform important processes in the world for applications ranging from bioremediation to biofuels.
IMPtools utilizes the reactions stored in the Kegg (Kyoto Encyclopedia for Genes and Genomes) database to create a metabolic pathway that is in some sense optimized for the production of a desired by-product while consuming some desired input. After inputting your desired input and output products, our program searches for the optimal metabolic path connecting the input and output compound. Our program has the ability to provide different pathways according to user defined weights; as an example, least ATP consumption or fewest changes to host organism. The end product we give you is a collection of metabolic pathways and their associated gene sequences. Along with the sequence, we also give you useful information necessary, such as a graphical representation and stoichiometric matrix, to carry out experiments in order to validate our results. Our long-term goals include being able to determine what intermediate BioBricks would be necessary to activate the required enzymes for production. In future years, this tool may be useful for other teams to predict some of their synthetic biology ventures.
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