The success rate of introducing new functions into a living species is still rather unsatisfactory. Much of this is due to the very essence of the living state, i.e. its robustness towards perturbations. Living cells are bound to notice that metabolic engineering is being effected, through changes in metabolite concentrations. In this study, we asked whether one could engage in such engineering without changing metabolite concentrations. We have illustrated that, in silico, one can do so in principle. We have done this for the case of substituting the yeast glucose transporter plus hexokinase for the Lactococcus lactis phosphotransferase system, in an L. lactis network, this engineering is 'silent' in terms of metabolite concentrations and almost all fluxes. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.