The Role of Mass Spectrometry in the "Omics" Era

Curr Org Chem. 2013 Dec;17(23):2891-2905. doi: 10.2174/1385272817888131118162725.


Mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the key analytical technology on which the emerging ''-omics'' approaches are based. It may provide detection and quantization of thousands of proteins and biologically active metabolites from a tissue, body fluid or cell culture working in a ''global'' or ''targeted'' manner, down to ultra-trace levels. It can be expected that the high performance of MS technology, coupled to routine data handling, will soon bring fruit in the request for a better understanding of human diseases, leading to new molecular biomarkers, hence affecting drug targets and therapies. In this review, we focus on the main advances in the MS technologies, influencing genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics fields, up to the most recent MS applications to meta-omic studies.

Keywords: MS; MS-based genomics; MS-based lipidomics; MS-based metabolomics; MS-based proteomics; Mass spectrometry; Meta-omics.