The field of metabolic engineering encompasses a powerful set of tools that can be divided into () methods to model complex metabolic pathways and () techniques to manipulate these pathways for a desired metabolic outcome. These tools have recently seen increased utility in the medical arena, and this paper aims to review significant accomplishments made using these approaches. The modeling of metabolic pathways has been applied to better understand disease-state physiology in a variety of cellar, subcellular, and organ systems, including the liver, heart, mitochondria, and cancerous cells. Metabolic pathway engineering has been used to generate cells with novel biochemical functions for therapeutic use, and specific examples are provided in the areas of glycosylation engineering and dopamine-replacement therapy. In order to document the potential of applying both metabolic modeling and pathway manipulation, we describe pertinent advances in the field of diabetes research. Undoubtedly, as the field of metabolic engineering matures and is applied to a wider array of problems, new advances and therapeutic strategies will follow.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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