Recent technological advances in accurate mass spectrometry and data analysis have revolutionized metabolomics experimentation. Activity-based and global metabolomic profiling methods allow simultaneous and rapid screening of hundreds of metabolites from a variety of chemical classes, making them useful tools for the discovery of novel enzymatic activities and metabolic pathways. By using the metabolome of the relevant organism or close species, these methods capitalize on biological relevance, avoiding the assignment of artificial and non-physiological functions. This review discusses state-of-the-art metabolomic approaches and highlights recent examples of their use for enzyme annotation, discovery of new metabolic pathways, and gene assignment of orphan metabolic activities across diverse biological sources. Many genes, among them numerous putative enzymes, have unknown function. Recent technological advances allow large-scale identification of enzymatic function, illuminating this medically and biotechnologically important resource. © 2014 MRC National Institute for Medical Research. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.
Prosser, G. A., Larrouy-Maumus, G., & de Carvalho, L. P. S. (2014). Metabolomic strategies for the identification of new enzyme functions and metabolic pathways. EMBO Reports. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.201338283