Metals (Metallomics)


Metals(Metallomics)

Metals are crucial components  in chemistry and in living organisms. Until now, up to twenty-eight metals have  been regarded as beneficial or essential components, regulating a great number  of physiological processes and maintaining the homeostasis in living organisms.  Actually, about one-third of all proteins require metal ions acting as  cofactors for appropriate function. For example, copper acting as a cofactor in  many redox enzymes such as cytochrome c oxidase, which exert an effect on respiratory  electron transport chain of mitochondria. Another example is that selenium  often incorporated into antioxidant enzymes like selenocysteine and exerts its function  in host oxidative defense.

However, most of the known metals and  metalloids, essential metals included if not well regulated, are of potent toxicity  to living organisms. Either deficiency or surplus of metals will be harmful and  cause a range of human disorders. For example, iron deficiency can lead to iron  deficiency anemia, while calcium deficiency can deplete calcium stores in the bones  and increase risk for osteoporosis. Increased levels of metals such as copper,  zinc and iron are usually found in metal-containing deposits in many  neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. These metals play a crucial  role in the formation of reactive oxygen species and the aggregation of antibody  peptides. Metal ion regulation can even be implemented at rather low  concentration. For example, zinc concentrations inside cells are strictly  regulated at the pmol to fmol level. At the same time, the oxidation state of a  metal or metalloid determines whether it’s pathologically toxic or physiologically  required. A well-known example is chromium. Chromium (III) is the beneficial form  required in trace amounts for lipid and glucose metabolism, while chromium (VI)  is the most toxic form regarded as a carcinogen.

Metallomics is considered a branch of metabolomics and defined as the comprehensive analysis of the entirety of metal and  metalloid species within a cell or tissue type. Metallomics is an  interdisciplinary area complementary to genomics and proteomics. By combining  analytical, inorganic and biochemical studies together, metallomics tries to elucidate  the metal uptake, trafficking, accumulation and metabolism in many  basic and complex biological processes, with the ultimate goal to clarify the  beneficial or toxic effects of a given metal or metalloid on human health and  further understand the molecular mechanisms.

Common metallomics techniques include  atomic absorption spectrometry (AA), inductively coupled plasma-mass  spectrometry (ICP-MS) and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry SXRF. Because of low  interferences, extremely high sensitivity of parts-per-trillion and wide range  of concentrations, ICP-MS has been established as the most reliable technique  for quantification of metals and metalloids in a wide range of biological samples.  Recently, ICP-MS has extended its application with technical improvements of  spectral interference removal and increased reproducibility. Creative Proteomics  has established a robust, reproducible and highly sensitive ICP-MS platform enables the virtually simultaneous quantification of multiple metals and  isotopes in the same tissue sample in a limited time, which allows for the  simultaneous monitoring of multiple metal-dependent physiological processes  such as coupled and secondary ion transport.

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Metals Quantified in This Service

With integrated set of separation,  characterization, identification and quantification systems featured with  excellent robustness & reproducibility, high and ultra-sensitivity,  Creative Proteomics provides reliable, rapid and cost-effective metals targeted metabolomics services.


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