EN | EU | ES

Metabolomics Platform at CIC bioGUNE

Metabolomics, Mass Spectrometry

Metabolomics at CIC bioGUNE, Derio, SPAIN

Research Area: 
Life & Medical Sciences

Bizkaia Technology Park
Building 801
48160 Derio (Bizkaia)


Juan Manuel Falcón Pérez
Email: jfalcon@cicbiogune.es
Teléfono: 944.061.319 (EXT. 219)

Available for external users?: 
Access protocol: 

Please contact platform responsible for further information


Metabolomics constitutes one of the most powerful technologies to understand how a living organism interacts with its environment. Metabolomics can be defined as the quantitative and qualitative analysis of all metabolites (small molecules with a molecular weight of less than 1,500 Da) in a given organism. This results in the construction of a metabolome or metabolic fingerprint, analogous to the genome or the proteome

Active since early 2011, the CIC bioGUNE metabolomics platform has already established a name in the field of methionine metabolism. By using our expertise in targeted, (semi-) quantitative analysis the platform assisted in the publication of a variety of research papers concerning the methionine pathway [1-5]. Moreover, in this capacity, we have drawn the attention of the pharmaceutical industry and established fruitful collaborations.

Our analytical methods and extraction protocols allow for the simultaneous quantification of methionine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), decarboxylated SAMe, methylthioadenosine (MTA), S-adenosylhomocycteine (SAH), homocycteine and various polyamines. Recently we have expanded the scope of this assay by including oxidative stress indicators, namely the oxidized and reduced forms of glutathione. We have optimized extraction methods for most biological matrices including plasma, serum, tissue, cultured hepatocytes and other cell types. In addition to the metabolites from the methionine cycle we have set up assays for the quantitation of ecdysones and retinoids that are important in development and differentiation processes.


Targeted metabolomics analysis: Metabolites from the methionine cycle metabolism, retinol metabolism, polyamines and amino acids. Furthermore, the study of reactive metabolites relevant for drug metabolism.
Untargeted metabolomics analysis: measurement of metabolites in biofluids (serum, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, etc), cellular and tissues from human or animal source using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC)-coupled to mass spectrometry.
Assistance in the application of metabolomics: help in experiment design with regard to objectives attainable, appropriate statistical sampling, number of samples to be processed, logistic aspects and so on in order to achieve satisfactory and statistically significant results.


Q. What type of samples do you handle?
A. We handle animal (mouse, rat, dog), insect and cell culture samples. We have assays set up for liver and brain tissue, plasma and serum. As for human samples we ask the requester to handle the sample preparation via our protocol while we perform the metabolic analysis.

Q. How should the samples be shipped?
A. Depends on the type of samples but normally dry ice would suffice to retain the metabolic integrity of the samples in question. The sender should have the responsibility of the shipping and pay the costs generated from this aspect.

Q. What are the analysis costs?
A. Due to the wide variability of biological matrices and metabolites every project needs to be treated individually. For the targeted assays we charge per compound and per sample, and as orientation normally cost 20 euros per metabolite and sample. Importantly, the exact costs will be calculated after the quotation request. For untargeted projects the price will be set after a careful discussion with the client.


Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry systems

Two nanoflow liquid chromatography systems are coupled to a quadrupole time of flight hybrid instrument Q-TOF premier (Waters- Micromass) and to an Orbitrap XL upgraded with the ETD module (Thermo-Fisher), respectively. These high performance systems have the latest features for optimal protein identification in complex protein mixtures and for in depth protein post-translational modification characterization analysis.