Metabolomics applications using mass spectrometry

The close link to the phenotype and non-invasive nature of metabolomics makes it an ideal tool for life science research, in particular, disease research, personalized medicine, plant research and many others. The technique has expanded to other adjacent areas such as drug safety (toxicity markers) screening in the pharmaceutical industry.

Metabolomics workflows have also proven to have applicability in several other industrial research areas, agriculture, food and nutrition, and environmental.   

Metabolomics resources



Using MS for biomarker discovery and analysis

Mass spectrometry can be used to acquire data on thousands of metabolites in small and large-scale huOne example of such large-scale profiling is the HUSERMET project.  

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Metabolomics applications

Metabolomics research is widely being used today to discover putative cancer biomarkers; to better understand its complex heterogeneous nature, to discover pathways involved in cancer that could be used for new targets and to monitor metabolic biomarkers during therapeutic intervention. It can also be applied to understanding more fundamental mechanistic insights into cancer and carcinogenesis.

Environmental metabolomics analyzes the effects of disease and chemicals on organisms. Applications include environmental monitoring of sentinel species, chemical risk assessment of pharmaceutical, pesticides and other chemicals and maintenance of healthy livestock and fish.

Food metabolomics enables valuable information about the biochemical composition or profile of foods to be rapidly obtained. This profile contains components for flavors and shelf life and so this information will enable control over food quality, authenticity, as well as research into flavor development.

Further reading

Ritchie MD, Holzinger ER, Li R, Pendergrass SA, and Kim D. (2015) Methods of integrating data to uncover genotype-phenotype interactions. Nat Rev Genetics 16(2):85-97. PubMed

Dunn WB, Wilson ID, Nicholls AW, and Broadhurst D. (2012) The importance of experimental design and QC samples in large-scale and MS-driven untargeted metabolomic studies of humans. Bioanalysis 4(18): 2249-2264. PubMed

Chen Y-J, Huang X, Mahieu NG, Cho K, Schaefer J, and Patti GJ. (2014) Differential incorporation of glucose into biomass during Warburg metabolism. Biochemistry 53(29):4755-4757. PubMed

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