NMR-based Metabolite Profiling of Pancreatic Cancer
Metabolic profiling has received increasing recognition as an indispensable complement to genomics and proteomics for probing biological systems and for clinical applications. (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is widely used in the field but is challenged by spectral complexity and overlap. Improved and simple methods that quantitatively profile a large number of metabolites are sought to make further progress. Here, we demonstrate a simple isotope tagging strategy, in which metabolites with carboxyl groups are chemically tagged with (15)N-ethanolamine and detected using a 2D heteronuclear correlation NMR experiment. This method is capable of detecting over 100 metabolites at concentrations as low as a few micromolar in biological samples, both quantitatively and reproducibly. Carboxyl-containing compounds are found in almost all metabolic pathways, and thus this new approach should find a variety of applications.