Why is metabolomics important in scientific researches?

Posted by beauty33 on August 12th, 2019

What is metabolomics?

Genomics reflects what can happen, transcriptomics reflects what appears to be happening, proteomics shows what make it happen, and only metabolomics really reflects what has happened and is happening.

Metabonomics is an important component of systems biology or Trans-omics. It quantitatively describes changes in metabolites in organisms in addition to genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics.

The role of metabolites cannot be ignored. The life activities in cells are shared by many genes, proteins, and small molecule metabolites, and the functional changes of upstream (nucleic acids, proteins, etc.) macromolecules will eventually be reflected in metabolic levels, such as changes in neurotransmitters, hormone regulation, receptor action effects, cell signal release, energy transfer and intercellular communication. Therefore, the metabolome is located at downstream of the gene regulatory network and the protein action network. It provides biological terminal information. At the same time, metabolites interact with upstream genes and proteins to feed back the upstream life activity network and complete the functional activities assigned by the body.

Metabolomics is the qualitative and quantitative analysis of all metabolites in an organism at a specific time (eg, pathophysiological stimulation, different developmental states, etc.). Most of the research objects are endogenous small molecules with molecular mass less than 1000 Da, including cholesterol, lipids, amino acids, carbohydrates, organic acids, etc.. Metabolites vary in number from species to species. There are about 2,500 species of animals, about 1,500 species of microorganisms, and about 200,000 species of plants.

Metabolomics also has the following characteristics when compared to genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics:

1. Minor changes in gene and protein expression at the functional level are amplified on metabolites, making detection easier;

2. Non-functional changes in gene and protein levels are not reflected at the metabolic level, thus acting as a “noise filter” in the downstream transmission of upstream information;

3. The type of metabolite is much smaller than the number of genes and proteins, and the molecular structure is much simpler.

4. Metabolites are similar in various biological systems, and their detection methods are similar, so the techniques used in metabolomics are more universal.

The classification and application of metabolomics

Metabolomics is mainly divided into untargeted metabolomics (also known as full-spectrum metabolomics) and targeted metabolomics, depending on the purpose of the experiment and the metabolites tested. Untargeted metabolomics is designed to describe all metabolites in a cell, body fluid or tissue sample, to compare different samples by detecting as many metabolites as possible, for screening of potential markers; targeted metabolomics is used to conduct quantitative determination for a specific metabolite or a metabolic pathway of interest, in which all metabolites are known, selecting specific detection methods and standards. Targeted metabolomics is useful for verifying selected potential markers and answering specific biochemical problems.

The current hotspots of metabolomics research include:

1. Disease diagnosis and prevention

2. Disease mechanism research

3. New drug screening and development

4. drug action mechanism

5. Drug toxicity evaluation

6. Animal and plant metabolism research

7. Microbial metabolomics research

Like it? Share it!


About the Author

Joined: July 10th, 2017
Articles Posted: 284

More by this author