Parasitology

Research Article

The potential of metabolomics for Leishmania research in the post-genomics era

RICHARD A. SCHELTEMAa1, SASKIA DECUYPEREa2a3, RUBEN T'KINDTa2a3, JEAN-CLAUDE DUJARDINa2, GRAHAM H. COOMBSa3 and RAINER BREITLINGa1 c1

a1 Groningen Bioinformatics Centre, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN Haren, The Netherlands

a2 Department of Parasitology, Unit of Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp B-2000, Belgium

a3 Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NR, Scotland

SUMMARY

The post-genomics era has provided researchers with access to a new generation of tools for the global characterization and understanding of pathogen diversity. This review provides a critical summary of published Leishmania post-genomic research efforts to date, and discusses the potential impact of the addition of metabolomics to the post-genomic toolbox. Metabolomics aims at understanding biology by comprehensive metabolite profiling. We present an overview of the design and interpretation of metabolomics experiments in the context of Leishmania research. Sample preparation, measurement techniques, and bioinformatics analysis of the generated complex datasets are discussed in detail. To illustrate the concepts and the expected results of metabolomics analyses, we also present an overview of comparative metabolic profiles of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant Leishmania donovani clinical isolates.

(Received October 27 2009)

(Revised November 27 2009)

(Accepted November 27 2009)

(Online publication January 29 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Address correspondence to: Rainer Breitling (r.breitling@rug.nl), Tel: +31-50-3638088, Fax: +31-50-3637976.

Footnotes

† Equally contributing authors.

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