Construction and validation of a detailed kinetic model of glycolysis in Plasmodium falciparum.

Gerald Penkler, Francois du Toit, Waldo Adams, Marina Rautenbach, Daniel C Palm, David D van Niekerk, Jacky L Snoep

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    UNLABELLED: The enzymes in the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway of Plasmodium falciparum trophozoites were kinetically characterized and their integrated activities analyzed in a mathematical model. For validation of the model, we compared model predictions for steady-state fluxes and metabolite concentrations of the hexose phosphates with experimental values for intact parasites. The model, which is completely based on kinetic parameters that were measured for the individual enzymes, gives an accurate prediction of the steady-state fluxes and intermediate concentrations. This is the first detailed kinetic model for glucose metabolism in P. falciparum, one of the most prolific malaria-causing protozoa, and the high predictive power of the model makes it a strong tool for future drug target identification studies. The modelling workflow is transparent and reproducible, and completely documented in the SEEK platform, where all experimental data and model files are available for download. DATABASE: The mathematical models described in the present study have been submitted to the JWS Online Cellular Systems Modelling Database ( The investigation and complete experimental data set is available on SEEK (10.15490/seek.1. INVESTIGATION: 56).
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe FEBS Journal
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


    • enzyme kinetics
    • glucose metabolism
    • mathematical model
    • model workflow
    • systems biology


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