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Vol. 29 No. 4
July-August 2007

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Metal-Focused –omics: Guidelines for Terminology and Critical Evaluation of Analytical Approaches

Bioinorganic analytical chemistry is a rapidly developing discipline at the interface of trace element analysis and analytical biochemistry, which targets the detection, quantitation, identification, and characterization of complexes of metals (metalloids) with molecules of natural origin (biomolecules) by hyphenated (coupled) techniques (PAC, 1999, 71, 899–917). The advances of trace element analysis in life sciences resulted in the proliferation of new terms related to the description of metal-interactions with biomolecules. Examples of these terms include metallome, ionome, metalloproteome, metallogenome, metallometabolome, heteroatom-tagged proteome, single element proteomes (ex. selenoproteome), and the corresponding –omics. The terms are being coined by various disciplines, and the lack of communication among them results in the growing confusion. All terms are very recent and have not been considered in the Guidelines for Terms Related to Chemical Speciation Analysis published in PAC 2000, 72, 1453–1470.

In addition to the confusion in terminology, the methodological approaches are proper to each individual discipline. They have all the characteristics to be complementary, but in practice they are carried out independently, with no communication channels among the communities. The project participants intend to conduct a critical analysis of these approaches, of the information they produce, and of the validity of data obtained. The project targets the speciation analysis community organized around the European Virtual Institute of Speciation Analysis <www.speciation.net>, structural genomic consortia, clinical biochemistry, medicine and health sciences communities (characterization of metal-related diseases and related areas, heteroatom-containing species as new clinical biomarkers), nutrition and metabolic sciences (molecular targets of metal binding for essential nutrients and toxic metals), and environmental toxicology (toxic metals in life-sciences and their environmental effects). It should be of interest to regulatory bodies answering the question of what valid information can be obtained in a quantitative and routine way in the metal-related –omics areas.

For more information and comments, contact the Task Group Chair Ryszard Lobinski <Ryszard.Lobinski@univ-pau.fr>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2006/2006-037-1-500.html


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