BayBioMS - Metabolomics
Mapping diversity of life at different molecular levels, nucleic acids, proteins, and metabolites are used as valuable analytical reporters to “measure” the status of a biological system. Among these “molecules of life”, the complex pattern of low-molecular weight metabolites reflects the various functional activities, transient effects, as well as endpoints of biological processes determined by the sum of its genetic features, regulation of gene expression, protein abundance, and environmental influences. As the metabolome cannot be computed from the genome, the goal of metabolomics is to catalog and quantify low molecular weight molecules, known as metabolites, produced by active cells under different conditions and times in their life cycles. Due to the enormous analytical progress made in recent years, metabolite profiling by means of mass spectrometry reached a high level of sensitivity, an increasing metabolite coverage, and a high sample throughput. These developments made metabolomics to a powerful technology in the discovery and quantitation of biomarkers and biomarker patterns, respectively, helping to assess health and disease states in nutrition research, to monitor biotechnological processes, to support plant breeding programmes and food quality analyses.
The BayBioMS center provides a hypothesis-free, holistic profiling of high-abundance molecules by means of UPLC-TOF-MS analysis as well as the multi-parametric targeted quantitation of identified and pre-selected metabolic pathways by means of UHPLC-MS/MSMRM techniques. Together with mathematical modeling and statistics methods, these techniques provide a powerful platform for generating metabolic signatures from biological samples and to obtain complex profiles of a wide range of metabolite classes to identify unknown but significant metabolite changes and to characterize the metabolic phenotype based on the composition of their biofluids and tissues. These metabolomic techniques are universally applicable in distinct species and have been successful in depicting the biochemical profile and in quantifying global physiological changes in studies of yeasts, plants, mouse, human nutritional challenges, microbe-host interactions, natural products research, and taste research, respectively.