A roadmap for interpreting (13)C metabolite labeling patterns from cells

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2015 Aug:34:189-201. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2015.02.003. Epub 2015 Feb 28.


Measuring intracellular metabolism has increasingly led to important insights in biomedical research. (13)C tracer analysis, although less information-rich than quantitative (13)C flux analysis that requires computational data integration, has been established as a time-efficient method to unravel relative pathway activities, qualitative changes in pathway contributions, and nutrient contributions. Here, we review selected key issues in interpreting (13)C metabolite labeling patterns, with the goal of drawing accurate conclusions from steady state and dynamic stable isotopic tracer experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Isotopes / metabolism
  • Cell Survival
  • Humans
  • Isotope Labeling / methods
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways*


  • Carbon Isotopes