The key difference between proteomics and metabolomics is that proteomics is the study of all proteins of an organism while metabolomics is the study of all metabolites of an organism.
Genomics is the study of the genetic make-up of an organism. Proteomics and metabolomics are two omic sciences related to genomics. Proteome refers to all proteins in a cell or an organism. Metabolome, on the other hand, refers to all metabolites of an organism. Thus, the study of the proteome is the proteomics while the study of metabolome is the metabolomics. Both proteomics and metabolomics are important in disease diagnostics and in characterization and screening of organisms. Moreover, both are connected in many aspects of cell biology, especially in cell signalling, protein degradation and generation and post-translational modification.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Proteomics
3. What is Metabolomics
4. Similarities Between Proteomics and Metabolomics
5. Side by Side Comparison – Proteomics vs Metabolomics in Tabular Form
What is Proteomics?
Proteome is the total protein complement in a cell, tissue or an organism. Therefore, proteomics is the study of the proteome of an organism. In proteomics, different characteristics of proteins are analyzed. Therefore, proteomics mainly focuses on the structure, orientation, functions, protein interactions, modifications, applications and the importance of proteins. That is why many research projects are conducted in the field of proteomics at present.
The first proteomic studies were done to identify the protein content in Escherichia coli. The mapping of the total protein content was done using two dimensional (2D) gels. After the success of this project, scientists moved on to characterizing the total protein content in animals such as guinea pigs and mice. At present, human protein mapping is done using 2D gel electrophoresis.
There are many advantages of studying proteomics as proteins are the governing molecules of most activity due to the catalyst property of proteins. Thus, the study of whole proteins can provide information regarding the health status of an organism. Moreover, proteomics has many applications in genome annotation, disease identification and diagnostics, carrying out protein expression studies during experimentation and protein modifications and interaction studies, etc.
There are different techniques involved in proteomics, including the extraction of the total protein, separation of them using 2D gel electrophoresis, sequencing of the extracted proteins using methods such as Edmund’s sequencing method or mass spectrometry and analysis of structural and functional properties of the protein using computer-based software and bioinformatics tools.
What is Metabolomics?
Metabolomics is the study of all metabolites in a cell, tissue or an organism. It includes the identification and quantification of cellular metabolites using different advanced analytical and statistical tools. Metabolomics is an important study since it reveals information regarding the metabolism of an organism.
To study substrates and products of metabolic reactions, metabolomics uses mass spectrometry as an analytical platform. Mass spectrometry results in metabolites and their concentrations, reflecting the actual biochemical state of the cells or the tissues. Hence, metabolomics can be considered as the best representation of the molecular phenotype of an organism. In addition to these, metabolomics can be considered as an extension of proteomics because most metabolites are generated due to the activities of enzymes which are proteins.
What are the Similarities Between Proteomics and Metabolomics?
- Proteomics and metabolomics are two omic sciences related to genomics.
- Metabolomics can be considered as an extension of proteomics.
- Proteome and metabolome are closely intertwined with many studies.
What is the Difference Between Proteomics and Metabolomics?
Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins including their structure and function, within a cell or an organism. Meanwhile, metabolomics is the study of metabolite profiles in a cell, tissue or organism under a given set of conditions. So, this is the key difference between proteomics and metabolomics. Besides, proteomics mainly concerns the complete set of proteins while metabolomics mainly concerns the complete set of metabolites, including a diverse array of small molecules such as peptides, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleosides, and catabolic products of exogenous compounds, etc. Therefore, this is another difference between proteomics and metabolomics.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between proteomics and metabolomics.
Summary – Proteomics vs Metabolomics
Living organisms can be studied using their genome, proteins and metabolites. Genomics, proteomics and metabolomics are the three areas that study genetic make-up, proteins and metabolites of a cell or an organism, respectively. Proteomics is important since it is a dynamic reflection of both genes and the environment. Metabolomics is very important since it directly reflects the current status of the biochemical reaction of the cells or metabolic status of an organism. Thus, this summarizes the difference between proteomics and metabolomics.
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1. “Proteomics” By Xxl7441 at English Wikibooks – Transferred from en.wikibooks to Commons. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Metabolomics schema” By Lmaps (talk) – I created this work entirely by myself (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia