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      Metabolomic analysis of human disease and its application to the eye

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          Metabolomics, the analysis of the metabolite profile in body fluids or tissues, is being applied to the analysis of a number of different diseases as well as being used in following responses to therapy. While genomics involves the study of gene expression and proteomics the expression of proteins, metabolomics investigates the consequences of the activity of these genes and proteins. There is good reason to think that metabolomics will find particular utility in the investigation of inflammation, given the multi-layered responses to infection and damage that are seen. This may be particularly relevant to eye disease, which may have tissue specific and systemic components. Metabolomic analysis can inform us about ocular or other body fluids and can therefore provide new information on pathways and processes involved in these responses. In this review, we explore the metabolic consequences of disease, in particular ocular conditions, and why the data may be usefully and uniquely assessed using the multiplexed analysis inherent in the metabolomic approach.

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          Metabolomic profiles delineate potential role for sarcosine in prostate cancer progression.

          Multiple, complex molecular events characterize cancer development and progression. Deciphering the molecular networks that distinguish organ-confined disease from metastatic disease may lead to the identification of critical biomarkers for cancer invasion and disease aggressiveness. Although gene and protein expression have been extensively profiled in human tumours, little is known about the global metabolomic alterations that characterize neoplastic progression. Using a combination of high-throughput liquid-and-gas-chromatography-based mass spectrometry, we profiled more than 1,126 metabolites across 262 clinical samples related to prostate cancer (42 tissues and 110 each of urine and plasma). These unbiased metabolomic profiles were able to distinguish benign prostate, clinically localized prostate cancer and metastatic disease. Sarcosine, an N-methyl derivative of the amino acid glycine, was identified as a differential metabolite that was highly increased during prostate cancer progression to metastasis and can be detected non-invasively in urine. Sarcosine levels were also increased in invasive prostate cancer cell lines relative to benign prostate epithelial cells. Knockdown of glycine-N-methyl transferase, the enzyme that generates sarcosine from glycine, attenuated prostate cancer invasion. Addition of exogenous sarcosine or knockdown of the enzyme that leads to sarcosine degradation, sarcosine dehydrogenase, induced an invasive phenotype in benign prostate epithelial cells. Androgen receptor and the ERG gene fusion product coordinately regulate components of the sarcosine pathway. Here, by profiling the metabolomic alterations of prostate cancer progression, we reveal sarcosine as a potentially important metabolic intermediary of cancer cell invasion and aggressivity.
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            Is Open Access

            MetaboAnalyst: a web server for metabolomic data analysis and interpretation

            Metabolomics is a newly emerging field of ‘omics’ research that is concerned with characterizing large numbers of metabolites using NMR, chromatography and mass spectrometry. It is frequently used in biomarker identification and the metabolic profiling of cells, tissues or organisms. The data processing challenges in metabolomics are quite unique and often require specialized (or expensive) data analysis software and a detailed knowledge of cheminformatics, bioinformatics and statistics. In an effort to simplify metabolomic data analysis while at the same time improving user accessibility, we have developed a freely accessible, easy-to-use web server for metabolomic data analysis called MetaboAnalyst. Fundamentally, MetaboAnalyst is a web-based metabolomic data processing tool not unlike many of today's web-based microarray analysis packages. It accepts a variety of input data (NMR peak lists, binned spectra, MS peak lists, compound/concentration data) in a wide variety of formats. It also offers a number of options for metabolomic data processing, data normalization, multivariate statistical analysis, graphing, metabolite identification and pathway mapping. In particular, MetaboAnalyst supports such techniques as: fold change analysis, t-tests, PCA, PLS-DA, hierarchical clustering and a number of more sophisticated statistical or machine learning methods. It also employs a large library of reference spectra to facilitate compound identification from most kinds of input spectra. MetaboAnalyst guides users through a step-by-step analysis pipeline using a variety of menus, information hyperlinks and check boxes. Upon completion, the server generates a detailed report describing each method used, embedded with graphical and tabular outputs. MetaboAnalyst is capable of handling most kinds of metabolomic data and was designed to perform most of the common kinds of metabolomic data analyses. MetaboAnalyst is accessible at http://www.metaboanalyst.ca
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              Chemometrics in metabonomics.

              We provide an overview of how the underlying philosophy of chemometrics is integrated throughout metabonomic studies. Four steps are demonstrated: (1) definition of the aim, (2) selection of objects, (3) sample preparation and characterization, and (4) evaluation of the collected data. This includes the tools applied for linear modeling, for example, Statistical Experimental Design (SED), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Partial least-squares (PLS), Orthogonal-PLS (OPLS), and dynamic extensions thereof. This is illustrated by examples from the literature.

                Author and article information

                +44-121-121415 , s.p.young@bham.ac.uk
                J Ocul Biol Dis Infor
                Journal of Ocular Biology, Diseases, and Informatics
                Humana Press Inc (New York )
                13 November 2009
                13 November 2009
                December 2009
                : 2
                : 4
                : 235-242
                [1 ]Rheumatology Research Group, School of Immunity and Infection, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT UK
                [2 ]Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, School of Immunity and Infection, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT UK
                © The Author(s) 2009
                Custom metadata
                © Humana Press 2010

                Vision sciences

                disease, metabolomics, ocular disease, metabolite, inflammation, uveitis, metabolism, nmr, diagnosis


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