Metabolomics is a relatively new scientific field, which complements other OMICs strategies: genomics gives us an (ideally) complete information of all genes within an organism (its genome), transcriptomics tells us whether the genes are active (transcribed into mRNA), and proteomics describes all proteins in the cells. Metabolomics, on the other hand, provides a close-to-complete picture of small molecules, metabolites, in a cell or more generally, in a sample. By contrast to chemically uniform DNA, RNA, and proteins, metabolites are characteristic with very diverse structures of various physico-chemical properties. This makes metabolomics more challenging. We are using recent development of instrumental chemical analysis and computational tools, which allow interpretation of the complex metabolomics raw data.
New Metabolites with Alkylproline Motives (targeted search)
A 4-alkyl-L-proline structural motif is very rare in nature even though it has a positive effect on bioactivity. As we understand the biosynthesis of this motif, we can take advantage of enormously increasing number of sequencing data in public databases. Searching through loads of these data manually is nearly impossible nowadays so we work on programming a bioinformatics tool, which would facilitate this. For us specifically, the tool serves to find a needle in haystack – it points to dozens of strains (out of many thousands), which are capable of making metabolites with the 4-alkyl-L-proline motif. We are culturing these strains and trying to identify the metabolites of interest.