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Curr Protoc Mol Biol. 2012 Apr;Chapter 30:Unit 30.2.1-24. doi: 10.1002/0471142727.mb3002s98.

Targeted metabolomics.

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Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The metabolome is the terminal downstream product of the genome and consists of the total complement of all the low-molecular-weight molecules (metabolites) in a cell, tissue, or organism. Metabolomics aims to measure a wide breadth of small molecules in the context of physiological stimuli or disease states. Metabolomics methodologies fall into two distinct groups: untargeted metabolomics, an intended comprehensive analysis of all the measurable analytes in a sample including chemical unknowns, and targeted metabolomics, the measurement of defined groups of chemically characterized and biochemically annotated metabolites. The methodologies considered in this unit focus on the processes of conducting targeted metabolomics experiments, and the advantages of this general approach are highlighted herein. This unit outlines procedures for extracting nitrogenous metabolites (including amino acids), lipids, and intermediary metabolites (including TCA cycle oxoacids) from blood plasma. Specifically, protocols are described for analyzing these metabolites using targeted metabolomics experiments based on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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