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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2010 Feb;21(1):35-44. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2010.01.012. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Application of Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry to metabolic profiling and metabolite identification.

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Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai 599-8531, Japan. <>


Metabolomics, as an essential part of genomics studies, intends holistic understanding of metabolic networks through simultaneous analysis of a myriad of both known and unknown metabolites occurring in living organisms. The initial stage of metabolomics was designed for the reproducible analyses of known metabolites based on their comparison to available authentic compounds. Such metabolomics platforms were mostly based on mass spectrometry (MS) technologies enabled by a combination of different ionization methods together with a variety of separation steps including LC, GC, and CE. Among these, Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance MS (FT-ICR/MS) is distinguished from other MS technologies by its ultrahigh resolution power in mass to charge ratio (m/z). The potential of FT-ICR/MS as a distinctive metabolomics tool has been demonstrated in nontargeted metabolic profiling and functional characterization of novel genes. Here, we discuss both the advantages and difficulties encountered in the FT-ICR/MS metabolomics studies.

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