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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2010 Jun;13(3):358-62. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2010.04.006. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

Unveiling cellular biochemical reactions via metabolomics-driven approaches.

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Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0017, Japan.


Despite the widespread availability of genome sequences and the systematic assignment of individual open reading frames, many of the activities of metabolic enzymes are still veiled. It is difficult to assign biochemical functions to enzymes and uncover the in vivo regulation of their enzymatic activities, but this is crucial to understand cellular functions. The development of metabolomics and metabolite profiling, which can globally analyze intracellular and extracellular metabolites, has provided some valuable tools for systems biology. This report reviews the recent metabolomics approaches to elucidate unidentified metabolic systems while focusing on their enzymatic activities, including their biochemical and biological functions, and their regulation in response to environmental perturbations in microorganisms.

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