Highly sensitive and selective analysis of widely targeted metabolomics using gas chromatography/triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry

Hiroshi Tsugawa, Yuki Tsujimoto, Kuniyo Sugitate, Norihiro Sakui, Shin Nishiumi, Takeshi Bamba, Eiichiro Fukusaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


In metabolomics studies, gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight or quadrupole mass spectrometry has frequently been used for the non-targeted analysis of hydrophilic metabolites. However, because the analytical platform employs the deconvolution method to extract single-metabolite information from co-eluted peaks and background noise, the extracted peak is artificial product depending on the mathematical parameters and is not completely compatible with the pure component obtained by analyzing a standard compound. Moreover, it has insufficient ability for quantitative metabolomics. Therefore, highly sensitive and selective methods capable of pure peak extraction without any complicated mathematical techniques are needed. For this purpose, we have developed a novel analytical method using gas chromatography coupled with triple-quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-QqQ/MS). We developed a selected reaction monitoring (SRM) method to analyze the trimethylsilyl derivatives of 110 metabolites, using electron ionization. This methodology enables us to utilize two complementary techniques-non-targeted and widely targeted metabolomics in the same sample preparation protocol, which would facilitate the formulation or verification of novel hypotheses in biological sciences. The GC-QqQ/MS analysis can accurately identify a metabolite using multichannel SRM transitions and intensity ratios in the analysis of living organisms. In addition, our methodology offers a wide dynamic range, high sensitivity, and highly reproducible metabolite profiles, which will contribute to the biomarker discoveries and quality evaluations in biology, medicine, and food sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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