Metabolites come in many shapes and forms: polar and non-polar, basic, neutral and acidic. One of the challenges in the analysis of metabolomics data is understanding the roles of a given metabolite, considering the context of the particular experiment. The type of sample (tissue, blood, CSF, T cells, cancer cells etc.) has a lot to do with the role a metabolite may play. For most metabolites, there may be more than one pathway in which that metabolite is a product or reactant, and whose concentration may be dependent upon the context of the experiment, epigenetic and environmental factors, and other variables.

While a metabolite’s reactivity (its role as a reactant or product) in a specific biochemical reaction within a specific pathway may be of importance in one case, the physical properties and/or accumulation of that metabolite may be its importance in another (e.g. accumulation leading to acidosis, its role as an osmoprotectant or a hydrator or an emollient).
The HMT library is not about explaining metabolite structure. Instead, the HMT metabolite data base is focused on the most common pathways and biology around each metabolite. The focus is on mammalian biology, however, in many cases plant and bacterial pathways can also be relevant. We like to think that there is still much to learn about how metabolite levels are influenced and look to learn more.

We will start with amino acids and some amino acid derivatives then move to selected organic acids. Each week a new metabolite will appear. We hope you enjoy this addition to our website. If so, you can subscribe to our newsletter or contact us for more information on how we can help you get the most of out of metabolomics – no matter your field or interests.