DHMRI scientists validated the use of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC×GC-MS) for metabolite biomarker discovery. Although other laboratories have similar instrumentation, GC x GC-MS tends to be under-used. With the study, DHMRI added the capability to the services of the Analytical Sciences Laboratory (ASL), which encompasses metabolomics and NMR.
“We compared two different methods- one is the more common ‘normal’ GC-MS method for the analysis of small molecules,” said Analytical Sciences Group Leader, Jason Winnike, PhD. “The other is a two dimensional method that allows for much greater separation of compounds and makes the subsequent analysis easier.”
In the study, ASL scientists tested 109 human serum samples with GCxGC-MS compared to the standard approach of chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Using GCxGC-MS, more than two times as many metabolites were identified. In addition, the GCxGC-MS analysis identified 34 metabolites with statistically significant differences compared to 23 in the GC-MS analysis when compared to controls.
Working with Xiang Zhang, PhD, at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, a specialized software program was developed to streamline the analysis of the GCxGC-MS.
Beyond serum, the GCxGC-MS can profile metabolites in urine or tissue samples as well as plant materials. Currently, a study is underway analyzing metabolites in mouse plasma.
The study was published in the April 2015 edition of the Journal of Proteome Research, in the paper entitled “Comparison of GC-MS and GCxGC-MS in the Analysis of Human Serum Samples for Biomarker Discovery.”