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Smirnov, K. ; Maier, T.V. ; Walker, A. ; Heinzmann, S.S. ; Forcisi, S. ; Martinez, I.* ; Walter, J.* ; Schmitt-Kopplin, P.

Challenges of metabolomics in human gut microbiota research.

Int. J. Med. Microbiol. 306, 266-279 (2016)
Postprint DOI Order publishers version
Open Access Green
The review highlights the role of metabolomics in studying human gut microbial metabolism. Microbial communities in our gut exert a multitude of functions with huge impact on human health and disease. Within the meta-omics discipline, gut microbiome is studied by (meta)genomics, (meta)transcriptomics, (meta)proteomics and metabolomics. The goal of metabolomics research applied to fecal samples is to perform their metabolic profiling, to quantify compounds and classes of interest, to characterize small molecules produced by gut microbes. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry are main technologies that are applied in fecal metabolomics. Metabolomics studies have been increasingly used in gut microbiota related research regarding health and disease with main focus on understanding inflammatory bowel diseases. The elucidated metabolites in this field are summarized in this review. We also addressed the main challenges of metabolomics in current and future gut microbiota research. The first challenge reflects the need of adequate analytical tools and pipelines, including sample handling, selection of appropriate equipment, and statistical evaluation to enable meaningful biological interpretation. The second challenge is related to the choice of the right animal model for studies on gut microbiota. We exemplified this using NMR spectroscopy for the investigation of cross-species comparison of fecal metabolite profiles. Finally, we present the problem of variability of human gut microbiota and metabolome that has important consequences on the concepts of personalized nutrition and medicine.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Review
Keywords Gut Microbiota ; Ibd ; Mass Spectrometry ; Metabolomics ; Nmr; Nuclear-magnetic-resonance; Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Tandem Mass-spectrometry; Volatile Fatty-acids; Fecal Extracts; Ulcerative-colitis; Gastrointestinal-tract; Fermentation Products; Intestinal Microbiota; Colorectal-cancer
ISSN (print) / ISBN 1438-4221
Quellenangaben Volume: 306, Issue: 5, Pages: 266-279 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Elsevier
Publishing Place München
Reviewing status