Title: Making sense of metabolic complexity: Metabolomics as a key analytical platform of Systems Biology
Authors: Maria I. Klapa
Abstract:Metabolomics is -the most recently introduced, but the currently fastest growing-, high-throughput platform for the quantification of the concentration profile of the free small metabolite pools. Metabolite concentrations affecting and being affected by the in vivo enzymatic activity, the metabolomic profile is a metabolic fingerprint. In light of the important role of the metabolism in the overall cellular function, it is apparent why establishing methods for the quantification of extensive and accurate metabolomic profiles is among the major goals in systems biology research. Being the closest to the phenotype, the metabolic state of a biological system comprises information from all previous levels of cellular function. Therefore, metabolomics could: (a) complement transcriptomic and proteomic results towards a comprehensive understanding of the cellular physiology, and (b) provide important information about the metabolic state and regulation, which cannot be derived from any of the other omic analyses. Quantitative metabolomics is foreseen to have a major positive impact in (agri-)biotechnology, disease prognosis and diagnosis, drug design and development, personalized medicine and many other applications. However, the broad deployment of the metabolomic analytical platform to biotechnology and clinical research and practice requires its standardization for accurate, reproducible and validated performance. I will discuss the directions that are currently being pursued towards establishing metabolomics as a major tool of biological systems analysis in the context of my groups work. Specifically, I will describe a data normalization, correction and validation strategy for GC-MS metabolomics developed by my group and its application in (a) industrial-scale cell culture engineering in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare, USA, and (b) the analysis of the adult mouse hypothyroid brain function with the Animal and Human Physiology Lab of the U. Patras Biology Dept.
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