I so enjoy working at a University with such a broad spectrum of interests. The latest is the move to more precision medicine. We began with genomics: the existence of mutations or gene variants in patients or persons, then moved on to proteomics, the expression from genes into proteins (remember transcription from high school or college or medical school science?), and now metabolomics, which is not just protein expression, but the interaction of these proteins, and WHEN they exist in a patient’s or person’s body.
Turns out, the more we learn about the body, the more there is to understand. Not only do we have genes and variants of genes (remember sickle cell disease, for example?), we also have messenger RNA, the strand that copies off a specific gene, which can be turned on or off. Turns out mRNA can also interfere with OTHER mRNA, increasing or decreasing the effectiveness of those molecule strings. Also, mRNA is translated into proteins depending on the environment, and THEN, those proteins interact with each other. This happens, and possibly slightly differently, in every cell. How are we even alive?
So, now, we can measure proteins in this metabolome with increasing precision, and start to glance at the dance behind the curtain. Some exercise physiologists have spotted some patterns in the metabolome in regards to elite athletes, and this has led to some breakthroughs in performance, to-wit, the most recent Tour de France champion. Read on.
CMIO’s take? The metabolome rocks.