Three New Instruments Boost Metabolomics Analyses

Three new instruments boost metabolomics analyses at the OSUCCC – James

Metabolomics is a relatively new area of analysis that identifies and monitors the metabolites present in biological samples such as cells, tissues or serum. In cancer research, it can provide important insights into how the metabolism of cancer cells differs from healthy cells, and how individuals differ in the way they respond to therapeutic or preventive treatments.

For example, a group of OSUCCC – James researchers investigated the ability of two soy bread formulations to prevent recurrent prostate cancer. In a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, the group showed that men with asymptomatic prostate cancer who consumed the soy bread clustered into four groups according to the levels of certain soy isoflavone metabolites in their urine and blood that derive from the gut microbiome.

Such clustering might help identify individuals who are more or less responsive to soy intervention, which has important implications for designing future cancer prevention trials.

Metabolomic analyses are available to OSUCCC – James investigators through the Nutrient and Phytochemical Analytics Shared Resource (NPASR). The NPASR specializes in the development and implementation of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based analytical methods Three new instruments boost metabolomics analyses at the OSUCCC – James for the qualitative and quantitative determination of small molecules.

The NPASR recently acquired three new instruments for high-throughput untargeted metabolomics, targeted metabolomics and lipidomics, respectively:

• The Agilent 6550 QTOF separates and detects thousands of small molecule metabolites in a single biological sample (biofluids, tissues, cells). The information can often differentiate individuals or treatment groups by metabolic phenotype. The data can be combined with other omics data to better understand mechanisms underlying cancer progression, treatment and prevention.

• The Agilent 6495 triple quadrupole MS is used for targeted metabolomics experiments and biomarker validation and complements the 6550 QTOF. For example, small molecule biomarkers identified in untargeted metabolomics experiments can be quantitated and validated with this platform.

• The Sciex Lipidyzer quantitatively captures over 1,100 biological lipids spanning 13 lipid classes in blood. The instrument can profile the most abundant lipid species in biological samples and assess the effects of various treatments or disease states on these profiles.

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