on 05-01-201210:37 AM - edited on 10-15-202111:59 AM by AnalyteGuru
Breitling R, Pitt AR, Barrett MP. Trends Biotechnol. 2006 Dec;24(12):543-8. The global study of the structure and dynamics of metabolic networks has been hindered by a lack of techniques that identify metabolites and their biochemical relationship in complex mixtures. The recent application of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) to metabolomic analysis suggests a way to tackle the problem. A lower-cost alternative to high-field FTICR-MS, the Orbitrap mass analyzer, promises accelerated activity in this area. Here, we show how the ultra-high mass accuracy and resolution provided by this new generation of mass spectrometers can help to identify metabolites and connect them into metabolic networks. Data from perturbation studies and isotope-tracking experiments can complement this information to create metabolic maps de novo and chart unexplored areas of metabolism.