Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Anal Chem. 2011 Mar 15;83(6):2152-61. doi: 10.1021/ac102981k. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Expanding coverage of the metabolome for global metabolite profiling.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry, Center for Metabolomics, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, United States.


Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics is the comprehensive study of naturally occurring small molecules collectively known as the metabolome. Given the vast structural diversity and chemical properties of endogenous metabolites, biological extraction and chromatography methods bias the number, property, and concentration of metabolites detected by mass spectrometry and creates a challenge for global untargeted studies. In this work, we used Escherichia coli bacterial cells to explore the influence of solvent polarity, temperature, and pH in extracting polar and nonpolar metabolites simultaneously. In addition, we explored chromatographic conditions involving different stationary and mobile phases that optimize the separation and ionization of endogenous metabolite extracts as well as a mixture of synthetic standards. Our results reveal that hot polar solvents are the most efficient in extracting both hydrophilic and hydrophobic metabolites simultaneously. In addition, ammonium fluoride in the mobile phase substantially improved ionization efficiency in negative electrospray ionization mode by an average increase in signal intensity of 5.7 and over a 2-fold increase in the total number of features detected. The improvement in sensitivity with ammonium fluoride resulted in 3.5 times as many metabolite hits in databases compared to ammonium acetate or formic acid enriched mobile phases and allowed for the identification of unique metabolites involved in fundamental cellular pathways.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Chemical Society Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk