Creative Proteomics Boosts Your Project with Unknown Metabolite Identification Services

November 2, 2022

Creative Proteomics is an integrated CRO company committed to providing a full range of services in order to support various proteome research projects, from the identification of single proteins to large-scale proteomic studies. Recently, Creative Proteomics has developed a new strategy for identifying unknown metabolites by combining NMR, LC-MS/MS, as well as rule- and algorithm-based methods, allowing accurate identification of metabolites in complex biological samples.


Understanding the chemical identity of metabolites is essential for comprehending the complex biological system to which they belong. Since the identity of metabolites and their concentrations are often directly related to phenotypic characteristics, such information can be used to map biochemical pathways, thus understanding their roles in health and disease. However, there are still a large number of metabolites that remain unknown. That is, their spectral signatures found no match with those in existing databases, suggesting that unknown molecular identification is both imperative and challenging.


The identification of unknown compounds can be time-consuming and laborious and often requires preparative-level separations for NMR studies or extensive chemical synthesis for structural comparison using MS/MS. Therefore, with no surprise, most reports have focused on metabolite detection using available commercial standards or metabolite databases where they exist. Due to the inherent instability and lack of demand for many metabolites, only a few thousand commercial analytical standards are available. Meanwhile, metabolites that are present in these standards and databases represent only a small fraction of endogenous metabolites.   As a result, effective methods for prioritizing, studying, and ultimately identifying uncharacterized metabolites are important for metabolomics research.


In order to identify unknown compounds in metabolomic samples, different classes of metabolites should be distinguished: those with the same resolvable nominal mass (nominal mass), those with the same resolvable nominal mass but different molecular formula and isotopic mass, and those with the same resolvable nominal mass and isotopic mass but different chemical structures. For example, leucine and isoleucine are structurally different isomers but have the same resolvable nominal and isotopic mass. In addition, since single metabolites can be detected as different derivative species in the mass spectrometer, it is important to assign the different derivative species to their parent metabolite correctly.


“We are still on our way to developing tools and databases and providing integration of these different tools and databases for true and complete identification of all metabolites in an automated manner,” said a senior scientist at Creative Proteomics.


“State-of-the-art equipment, highly trained and experienced staff, as well as verified methodologies are utilized to enable the consistent and high-quality delivery of data with cost-efficiency. Based on our highly experienced and knowledgeable team of scientists in metabolite identification, Creative Proteomics can provide a fast turnaround, concise written reports, and comprehensive customized service to help resolve customers’ analytical and technical challenges,” he further added.


About Creative Proteomics

Creative Proteomics, a seasoned provider of proteomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics services, is well equipped with advanced technologies in order to meet the increasing needs of scientists in proteome and metabolism research.



Address: Shirley, NY 11967, USA