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Anal Chem. 2013 Aug 6;85(15):7606-12. doi: 10.1021/ac401793d. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Ultraperformance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry based comprehensive metabolomics combined with pattern recognition and network analysis methods for characterization of metabolites and metabolic pathways from biological data sets.

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National TCM Key Laboratory of Serum Pharmacochemistry, Key Laboratory of Chinmedomics, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China.


Metabolomics is the study of metabolic changes in biological systems and provides the small molecule fingerprints related to the disease. Extracting biomedical information from large metabolomics data sets by multivariate data analysis is of considerable complexity. Therefore, more efficient and optimizing metabolomics data processing technologies are needed to improve mass spectrometry applications in biomarker discovery. Here, we report the findings of urine metabolomic investigation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients by high-throughput ultraperformance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) coupled with pattern recognition methods (principal component analysis, partial least-squares, and OPLS-DA) and network pharmacology. A total of 20 urinary differential metabolites (13 upregulated and 7 downregulated) were identified and contributed to HCV progress, involve several key metabolic pathways such as taurine and hypotaurine metabolism, glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, histidine metabolism, arginine and proline metabolism, and so forth. Metabolites identified through metabolic profiling may facilitate the development of more accurate marker algorithms to better monitor disease progression. Network analysis validated close contact between these metabolites and implied the importance of the metabolic pathways. Mapping altered metabolites to KEGG pathways identified alterations in a variety of biological processes mediated through complex networks. These findings may be promising to yield a valuable and noninvasive tool that insights into the pathophysiology of HCV and to advance the early diagnosis and monitor the progression of disease. Overall, this investigation illustrates the power of the UPLC-MS platform combined with the pattern recognition and network analysis methods that can engender new insights into HCV pathobiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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