Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Marking metabolism

20.04.2009
A unique metabolic fingerprint of an individual can be built up by using a common spectroscopy technique to identify the molecules involved

Recent advances in DNA sequencing have made it relatively easy to acquire the full genotype of an individual, but it is equally important to match those genes to their functions. One useful step is to build up a ‘metabolic phenotype’ outlining all the processes operating to sustain the individual’s life.

Jun Kikuchi and co-workers at the RIKEN Plant Science Center in Yokohama, Yokohama City University and Nagoya University have developed a systematic method to characterize metabolic pathways in plants and animals. Their method involves measuring nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of samples and comparing them against an extensive database of molecules associated with metabolism, known as metabolites.

NMR works by detecting the response of atoms or molecules to a magnetic field. Normal carbon atoms show no response, so cells must be labeled with the stable isotope carbon-13.

Kikuchi and co-workers fed Arabidopsis plants and silkworm larvae with glucose and amino acids that had carbon-13 atoms in place of the normal carbon. After this incubation process, almost all the metabolites produced by the cells contained carbon-13. Importantly, carbon-13 displays a slightly different magnetic response depending on the structure of the molecule it is in, so each metabolite provided a unique NMR spectrum.

The researchers compared the spectra of their samples against a database of spectra for known metabolites. They identified 57 unique metabolites in the silkworm larvae, and 61 in Arabidopsis.

The team then used a technique called Principal Component Analysis to identify correlations between metabolites in the silkworm. These correlations represent metabolic pathways related to key stages in the larval development.

In particular, the results showed a random pattern of metabolic pathways over the first six days of the study, giving way to some correlations later. This suggests that better metabolic organization emerged as the larvae grew.

The study represents the first ‘top-down’ method of analyzing whole metabolic pathways. It provides a macroscopic phenotype describing cells, fluids and tissues, rather than looking at specific reactions from the atomic level upwards. What’s more, the technique is relatively quick.

“After an NMR measurement, typically taking about 1 hour, computation of the metabolic pathways finishes within half a day,” explains Eisuke Chikayama, who wrote the team’s recent paper in PLoS ONE (1).

Chikayama is also hopeful that the technique could be extended to other plants and animals, including humans.

“Our method is not restricted to any particular organism, if adequate NMR samples are ready.”

Reference

1. Chikayama, E., Suto, M., Nishihara, T., Shinozaki, K., Hirayama, T. & Kikuchi J. Systematic NMR analysis of stable isotope labeled metabolite mixtures in plant and animal systems: Coarse grained views of metabolic pathways. PLoS ONE 3(11), e3805 (2008).

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Metabolomics Research Group: Advanced NMR Metabomics Research Unit

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/686/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>