Cold glycerol-saline: the promising quenching solution for accurate intracellular metabolite analysis of microbial cells

Anal Biochem. 2007 Nov 1;370(1):87-97. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2007.06.028. Epub 2007 Jun 22.


Microbial metabolomics has been seriously limited by our inability to perform a reliable separation of intra- and extracellular metabolites with efficient quenching of cell metabolism. Microbial cells are sensitive to most (if not all) quenching agents developed to date, resulting in leakage of intracellular metabolites to the extracellular medium during quenching. Therefore, as yet we are unable to obtain an accurate concentration of intracellular metabolites from microbial cell cultures. However, knowledge of the in vivo concentrations of intermediary metabolites is of fundamental importance for the characterization of microbial metabolism so as to integrate meaningful metabolomics data with other levels of functional genomics analysis. In this article, we report a novel and robust quenching method for microbial cell cultures based on cold glycerol-saline solution as the quenching agent that prevents significant leakage of intracellular metabolites and, therefore, permits more accurate measurement of intracellular metabolite concentrations in microbial cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cold Temperature
  • Glycerol / chemistry*
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens / chemistry
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / chemistry
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Sodium Chloride / chemistry*
  • Streptomyces coelicolor / chemistry
  • Streptomyces coelicolor / metabolism*


  • Sodium Chloride
  • Glycerol