Recent technological developments in metabolomics research have enabled in-depth characterization of complex metabolite mixtures in a wide range of biological, biomedical, environmental, agricultural, and nutritional research fields. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry are the two main platforms for performing metabolomics studies. Given their broad applicability and the systemic insight into metabolism that can be obtained it is not surprising that metabolomics becomes increasingly popular in basic biological research. In this review, we provide an overview on key metabolites, recent studies, and future opportunities for metabolomics in studying autophagy regulation. Metabolites play a pivotal role in autophagy regulation and are therefore key targets for autophagy research. Given the recent success of metabolomics, it can be expected that metabolomics approaches will contribute significantly to deciphering the complex regulatory mechanisms involved in autophagy in the near future and promote understanding of autophagy and autophagy-related diseases in living cells and organisms.
Keywords: aging; autophagy; mass spectrometry; metabolites; metabolomics; nuclear magnetic resonance.