NPJ Syst Biol Appl. 2021 Oct 8;7(1):37. doi: 10.1038/s41540-021-00198-2.
Mucins are present in mucosal membranes throughout the body and play a key role in the microbe clearance and infection prevention. Understanding the metabolic responses of pathogens to mucins will further enable the development of protective approaches against infections. We update the genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction (GENRE) of one such pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, through metabolic coverage expansion, format update, extensive annotation addition, and literature-based curation to produce iPau21. We then validate iPau21 through MEMOTE, growth rate, carbon source utilization, and gene essentiality testing to demonstrate its improved quality and predictive capabilities. We then integrate the GENRE with transcriptomic data in order to generate context-specific models of P. aeruginosa metabolism. The contextualized models recapitulated known phenotypes of unaltered growth and a differential utilization of fumarate metabolism, while also revealing an increased utilization of propionate metabolism upon MUC5B exposure. This work serves to validate iPau21 and demonstrate its utility for providing biological insights.