Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, analysis of metabolite-protein interactions, and imaging.
Our understanding of biology has been greatly improved through recent developments in mass spectrometry, which is providing detailed information on protein and metabolite composition as well as protein-metabolite interactions. The high sensitivity and resolution of mass spectrometry achieved with liquid or gas chromatography allows for detection and quantification of hundreds to thousands of molecules in a single measurement. Where homogenization-based sample preparation and extraction methods result in a loss of spatial information, mass spectrometry imaging technologies provide the in situ distribution profiles of metabolites and proteins within tissues. Mass spectrometry-based analysis of metabolite abundance, protein-metabolite interactions, and spatial distribution of compounds facilitates the high-throughput screening of biochemical reactions, the reconstruction of metabolic networks, biomarker discovery, determination of tissue compositions, and functional annotation of both proteins and metabolites.