In this study, the initial propagation of metabolic perturbation in Escherichia coli was visualized to understand the dynamic characteristics of the metabolic pathways without the association of transcription alterations. E. coli cells were exposed to the sudden relief of glucose starvation, and time-dependent variances in metabolite balances were traced in the second scale. The acquired time-course data were represented by structural variations of the metabolite-metabolite correlation network. The initial correlation structure was altered immediately by the glucose pulse, followed by further structural variations within a few minutes. It was demonstrated that one metabolite temporally correlated with distinct metabolites with different timings, and such a behavior could imply a regulatory role for the metabolite in the metabolic network. Centrality analysis of the networks and partial correlation analysis indicated that preparation for growth and oxidative stress could be coupled as a structural property of the metabolic pathways.
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