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Integrated Sampling Procedure for Metabolome Analysis

Authors

  • Jochen Schaub,

    1. INSILICO biotechnology GmbH, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
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  • Carola Schiesling,

    1. INSILICO biotechnology GmbH, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Otfried-Müller-Strasse 27, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • Matthias Reuss,

    1. Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
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  • Michael Dauner

    Corresponding author
    1. INSILICO biotechnology GmbH, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. DuPont Central Research and Development, Biochemical Sciences and Engineering, Experimental Station, P.O. Box 80304, Wilmington, DE 19880–0304
    • INSILICO biotechnology GmbH, Allmandring 31, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
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Abstract

Metabolome analysis, the analysis of large sets of intracellular metabolites, has become an important systems analysis method in biotechnological and pharmaceutical research. In metabolic engineering, the integration of metabolome data with fluxome and proteome data into large-scale mathematical models promises to foster rational strategies for strain and cell line improvement. However, the development of reproducible sampling procedures for quantitative analysis of intracellular metabolite concentrations represents a major challenge, accomplishing (i) fast transfer of sample, (ii) efficient quenching of metabolism, (iii) quantitative metabolite extraction, and (iv) optimum sample conditioning for subsequent quantitative analysis. In addressing these requirements, we propose an integrated sampling procedure. Simultaneous quenching and quantitative extraction of intracellular metabolites were realized by short-time exposure of cells to temperatures ≤95 °C, where intracellular metabolites are released quantitatively. Based on these findings, we combined principles of heat transfer with knowledge on physiology, for example, turnover rates of energy metabolites, to develop an optimized sampling procedure based on a coiled single tube heat exchanger. As a result, this sampling procedure enables reliable and reproducible measurements through (i) the integration of three unit operations into a one unit operation, (ii) the avoidance of any alteration of the sample due to chemical reagents in quenching and extraction, and (iii) automation. A sampling frequency of 5 s−1 and an overall individual sample processing time faster than 30 s allow observing responses of intracellular metabolite concentrations to extracellular stimuli on a subsecond time scale. Recovery and reliability of the unit operations were analyzed. Impact of sample conditioning on subsequent IC-MS analysis of metabolites was examined as well. The integrated sampling procedure was validated through consistent results from steady-state metabolite analysis of Escherichia coli cultivated in a chemostat at D = 0.1 h−1.

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