Associate Prof. Kei Zaitsu and Assistant Prof. Yumi Hayashi are faculty members at the Graduate School of Medicine. They also belong to the Institute for Advanced Research, Nagoya University, and have recently successfully developed a new method for endogenous metabolite analysis.
The comprehensive analysis of metabolites, such as amino acids, organic acids, fatty acids, and sugars, requires extensive sample preparation, e.g., extraction and derivatization steps, prior to analysis using mass spectrometry. These steps may potentially cause bias, leading to misinterpretation of the final results; thus, sample preparation should ideally be excluded from metabolome analysis.
In collaboration with Shimadzu Corporation, the researchers developed a new analytical technique and demonstrated the first combination of probe electrospray ionization (PESI) with triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). They were able to demonstrate that PESI/MS/MS enabled an intact analysis of endogenous metabolites in mouse liver without prior sample preparation. They also successfully achieved thein vivo real-time metabolome analysis using a mouse. This new methodology for metabolite analysis can potentially be expanded to directly investigate the metabolome state of living plants as well as animals.
This research was published online in Analytical Chemistry on March 9, 2016.