Central Carbon Metabolism Tracer Map

Technology #16591

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Professor Matthew Vander Heiden
Department of Biology, MIT
External Link (vanderheiden.scripts.mit.edu)
Sophia Lunt
Department of Biology, MIT
External Link (vanderheiden.scripts.mit.edu)
Managed By
Michelle Hunt
MIT Technology Licensing Officer
Aerobic glycolysis: meeting the metabolic requirements of cell proliferation
Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol., 27: 441-64 (2011)


  • Basic biology and bioengineering research and development
  • Pharmaceutical biosynthesis
  • Biopolymer manufacturing

Problem Addressed

Tracing the movement of metabolites through biosynthetic pathways is a procedure essential to both basic research and drug development.  However, many pathway maps tend to be crowded and confusing to interpret. 


This is the first pathway map that enables tracking of individual carbon atoms as they are metabolized within these biosynthesis pathways. This map is a research tool for scientists interested in performing isotope or radioactive carbon labeled glucose and glutamine studies, as it greatly guides in the interpretation of resulting data containing various labeled forms of downstream metabolites.  This pathway map also bears the potential to be used as a teaching tool, either in a university classroom setting or in a college level textbook.   Using clear, consistent labeling and a logical layout, this map provides an excellent reference for academic, research, and industrial settings.


  • Eliminates the crowdedness and clutter of previous glucose biosynthesis pathway maps.
  • Tracks the changes in individual carbons, enabling scientists to track derivation and molecule of origin for each carbon among all of the compounds displayed in the glucose biosynthesis pathway.