Mass spectrometry methods in metabolomics



The review deals with metabolomics, a new and rapidly growing area directed to the comprehensive analysis of metabolites of biological objects. Metabolites are characterized by various physical and chemical properties, traditionally studied by methods of analytical chemistry focused on certain groups of chemical substances. However, current progress in mass spectrometry has led to formation of rather unified methods, such as metabolic fingerprinting and metabolomic profiling, which allow defining thousands of metabolites in one biological sample and therefore draw “a modern portrait of metabolomics.” This review describes basic characteristics of these methods, ways of metabolite separation, and analysis of metabolites by mass spectrometry. The examples shown in this review, allow to estimate these methods and to compare their advantages and disadvantages. Besides that, we consider the methods, which are of the most frequent use in metabolomics; these include the methods for data processing and the required resources, such as software for mass spectra processing and metabolite search database. In the conclusion, general suggestions for successful metabolomic experiments are given.

Key words

metabolomics metabolic fingerprinting metabolic profiling mass spectrometry 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biomedical ChemistryRussian Academy of Medical SciencesMoscowRussia

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