Key Difference – Metabolomics vs Metabonomics
Metabolites are the small molecules involved in metabolic reactions in the cells. Metabolites include metabolic intermediates, hormones, secondary metabolites, signaling molecules, etc. They are the functioning molecules of biochemical reactions of the cells. A complete set of metabolites of a biological sample or a single organism is known as metabolome. Metabolome is a dynamic collection which changes every second within the body. Metabolomics and metabonomics are two terms related to the study of metabolome of an organism. The key difference between metabolomics and metabonomics is that metabolomics is more concerned about normal endogenous metabolism and metabolic profiling at a cellular or organ level while metabonomics is more concerned with extending metabolic profiling with the information of perturbations of metabolism due to environmental factors, diseases, gut microorganisms and comparing metabolic profiling, etc. Metabolomics is mainly driven by mass spectrometry, and metabonomics uses NMR spectroscopy for metabolite analysis.
What is Metabolomics?
Metabolomics is the study of metabolic processes that occur in cells, biofluids, tissues or organisms. It includes the identification and quantification of cellular metabolites using good analytical and statistical tools. Metabolomics is considered as an important study since it reveals information about the metabolism of an organism.
To study substrates and products of metabolic reactions, metabolomics uses mass spectrometry as an analytical platform. Mass spectrometry reveals types of metabolites and their concentrations, reflecting the actual biochemical state of the cells or the tissues. Hence, metabolomics can be considered as the best representative of molecular phenotype of an organism. Metabolomics is an omic technology of small molecules of the organisms and compared to other omic studies; metabolomics is very important since it directly reflects the current status of the biochemical reaction of the cells.
What is Metabonomics?
Metabonomics is defined as a quantitative measurement of multiparametric metabolic responses at specific times in relation to pathophysiologic stresses or genetic modification. This is usually applied to studies carried out about human nutrition and responses to drugs or disease. This approach was pioneered by Jeremy Nicholson at Imperial College, London and it has been used in a number of fields including toxicology, disease diagnosis, nutrition, etc. Historically, metabonomics was one of the first methods to apply the scope of systems biology to studies of metabolism.
Metabonomics is more concerned about comparing biochemical profiles rather than identifying individual metabolic compounds in metabolomics. Therefore, metabonomics can be defined as a subset of metabolomics. It mainly emphasizes the comparison of metabolic profiles of different populations with respect to diseases, environmental stresses, genetic modification, nutrition, drugs, etc. because metabolites are the good markers which signal the disease conditions, effects of drugs, environmental stresses, exposure to toxins, etc.
Metabonomic studies reveal both intracellular and extracellular metabolites. It uses high throughput techniques to analyze a vast number of metabolites simultaneously and repeatedly, enabling temporal investigation of the physiological status of the cells. It also reveals the correlation between metabolites and pathological status of the organism. To support metabonomic studies, genomics and proteomics can be used since they are interrelated as shown in above figure.
What is the difference between Metabolomics and Metabonomics?
Metabolomics vs Metabonomics
|Metabolomics is the study of the complete set of metabolites of an organism||Metabonomics is the quantitative study of multiparametric metabolic responses of living systems in temporal basis to pathophysiological stimuli or genetic modification.|
|Metabolomics is more concerned with metabolic profiling and identifying individual metabolites present in the cells.||Metabonomics is more concerned with comparing metabolites or metabolic profiles of populations in relation to genetic modifications, diseases, environmental stresses, pathological stimuli, drugs, etc.|
|Metabolomics is mainly focused on endogenous metabolism.||Metabonomics is not restricted to endogenous metabolism. It extends to find information about perturbations of metabolism caused by internal and external factors such as dietary patterns, toxins, disease processes, etc.|
|It uses mass spectrometry as the prime analytical platform||Metabonomics uses NMR spectroscopy as the main analytical platform.|
Summary – Metabolomics vs Metabonomics
Metabolome represents the complete set of small molecules called metabolites present in a cell or in an organism. Metabolomics is the study of the whole metabolome to generate the metabolic profile. Metabolomics allows scientists to measure the actual physiological status of the cell or the organism. Metabonomics is a part of metabolomics which extends to extract information about the multiparametric metabolic responses of living systems to pathophysiological stimuli and genetic modifications. Metabonomics is not just concerned with individual metabolic profiling like metabolomics; it compares metabolic profiles in relation to other factors such as environmental stresses, diseases, toxins, etc. Both metabolomics and metabonomics involve studies of metabolites of the organisms to measure the actual physiological status of the cells. Hence, sometimes these two are considered as synonyms, without considering the difference between metabolomics and metabonomics.
1. Roessner, Ute, and Jairus Bowne. “What is metabolomics all about.” BioTechniques – What is metabolomics all about? N.p., Apr. 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2017
2. Jeremy J. Ramsden (1). “Metabolomics and Metabonomics.” Springer. Springer London, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 25 Apr. 2017