MetaboNews October: Hiroshi Tsugawa

Dr. Hiroshi Tsugawa is an Associate Professor from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan. He has worked on a field of research, computational mass spectrometry (CompMS), to deepen the understanding of complex biological system of interest.

Dr. Tsugawa mentioned that the exciting aspect of his research involves the identification of novel metabolites within living organisms. He outlined three specific definitions of “novel.” The first entails identifying a completely new structure never previously reported. The second definition is centered around the discovery of a metabolite for the first time within a particular organism of interest. The final definition revolves around finding a metabolite associated with a particular phenotype. He acknowledged that uncovering entirely new structures, as per the first definition, is particularly challenging, as many metabolites, even if unrecorded in mass spectral libraries and structure databases like PubChem, have been discovered during the 20th century without significant attention in the field of biology. Nonetheless, Dr. Tsugawa expressed the excitement surrounding the discovery of new metabolites aligned with one of these three definitions, and the potential for unveiling their biological significance. He firmly believes that the ongoing pursuit of untargeted metabolomics-centered research will contribute to addressing environmental challenges and establishing a healthy and enduring human society.

Check the full version of MetaboNews here

Regarding untargeted metabolomics, TMIC provides high coverage untargeted metabolomics methods that are applicable across a wide spectrum of fields, including but not limited to health, agriculture, environment, forensics, and more.

Global (Targeted and Untargeted) Metabolomics by Chemical Isotope Labeling (CIL) LC-MS  provides an accurate relative quantitation and can cover up to 10,000 metabolites per sample. The whole metabolome is analyzed by combining the analysis of four submetabolomes: amine/phenol, carboxyl, carbonyl, and hydroxyl submetabolome. The combined results from four channels are able to cover 85% to 95% of the entire chemical space of the metabolome.

Classical Untargeted Metabolomics uses ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC), in the separation modes of reversed-phase, hydrophilic interaction and/or ion-pairing LC, coupled to high-resolution (60,000 or 12,0000 FWHM) Orbitrap-type Fourier Transform mass spectrometry (FTMS) in both (+) and (-) ion detection modes to relatively quantify up to 15,000 metabolite features in typical biological samples with >4000 assigned metabolites.

Untargeted Metabolomics by GC×GC TOF MS is an ideal platform for discovery studies involving volatile and semi-volatile compounds, as well as compounds that can be derivatized with standard chemistries (amino acids, simple sugars, sterols, etc). Aside from simple liquid injections of extracts, a wide range of automated injection methods are available in the laboratory including solid-phase microextraction, static headspace, dynamic headspace, and thermal desorption. 

High Throughput Global Metabolomics by MSI-CE-MS For Large Scale Epidemiological and Clinical Studies aims at providing high throughput yet nontargeted metabolomic analyses that is optimal for large-scale epidemiological and clinical studies (n > 1000) with stringent quality control. It allows to profile 60-300 authentic metabolites, lipids or drugs.

Global (Untargeted) Lipidomics Profiling  typically detects, identifies and relatively quantifies more than 5,000 lipids for positive ionization and more than 2,000 lipids for negative ionization.

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