Metabolomics: beyond biomarkers and towards mechanisms

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2016 Jul;17(7):451-9. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2016.25. Epub 2016 Mar 16.


Metabolomics, which is the profiling of metabolites in biofluids, cells and tissues, is routinely applied as a tool for biomarker discovery. Owing to innovative developments in informatics and analytical technologies, and the integration of orthogonal biological approaches, it is now possible to expand metabolomic analyses to understand the systems-level effects of metabolites. Moreover, because of the inherent sensitivity of metabolomics, subtle alterations in biological pathways can be detected to provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie various physiological conditions and aberrant processes, including diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Metabolome
  • Metabolomics*
  • Systems Biology


  • Biomarkers