Schauer, Nicolas De Ruiter Seeds, Bergschenhoek, The Netherlands.
Last reviewed:August 2020
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- Metabolomic analyses and techniques
- Applications of metabolite profiling
- Research opportunities
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The general term for the study of the global metabolite composition of a biological system—the metabolome—under a given set of conditions. Metabolomics is the scientific investigation of small-molecule metabolic products, collectively termed the metabolome, found within biological systems (for example, cells, tissues, biological fluids, and organs). In particular, metabolomics can help researchers to delineate the phenotypes (characteristics) and responses of the small molecules (low-molecular-weight organic compounds, such as sugars, amino acids, nucleotides, and lipids) associated with biological metabolism (Fig. 1). The investigation of the metabolome of a biological system can be defined by a range of terms: metabolite profiling, metabolite fingerprinting, metabonomics, and metabolomics. In general, metabolite profiling is used to describe the rapid, but accurate quantification and identification of metabolites using a single analytical technique. Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy are the two most commonly used techniques. Overall, metabolite profiling is utilized in numerous research areas. Its application includes diagnostics, analysis of cell function, identification of gene function, recognition of disease biomarkers, precision medicine, discovery of novel biochemical and biotechnology targets for therapeutic purposes, and systems biology. See also: Biotechnology; Cell (biology); Mass spectrometry; Metabolic networks; Metabolism; Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); Plant metabolism
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