February 16, 2007
Metabonomics: A Discovery-based Approach to Unraveling Physiology
Cynthia K. Larive, Department of Chemistry, University of California Riverside
Metabonomics, the study of changes in metabolic states due to a perturbation, is typically performed in mammals by characterizing biofluids or tissue samples, or in plants by analysis of extracts. The goal of metabonomics studies is to collect as much chemical information as possible about the identity and relative concentrations of endogenous metabolites in samples from control and treated (perturbed) organisms. The choice of perturbation is at the discretion of the experimenter and can be designed to probe the effects of a drug, toxicant or genetic modification. Analytical methods such as 1H NMR and LC-MS are used in metabonomics studies because they produce high information content spectra. Data reduction by principal components analysis (PCA) or other statistical methods is used to group samples based on their chemical similarity and to identify the compounds responsible for differences between the control and treated groups. Examples of metabonomic studies from our laboratory will be presented illustrating the power of this approach.
My department’s website: http://www.chem.ucr.edu