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Pure Appl. Chem., 2008, Vol. 80, No. 12, pp. 2565-2575

Challenges to metallomics and analytical chemistry solutions

Sandra Mounicou1 and Ryszard Lobinski1,2

1 Laboratory of Analytical, Bioinorganic, and Environmental Chemistry, CNRS UMR 5254, Hélioparc, 2, av. Pr. Angot, F-64053 Pau, France
2 Department of Analytical Chemistry, Warsaw University of Technology, ul. Noakowskiego 3, 00-664 Warsaw, Poland

Abstract: Metal ions play a fundamental role in the chemistry of life. The understanding of the molecular bases of the living process requires the knowledge of the correlations existing between metal ions and the genome and the derived -omes: transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. An indispensable step on this way is the characterization of the coordination environment of metal ions present and the identification and quantification of metal-containing chemical species. The ensemble of research activities related to metal ions in biological systems has been recently referred to as "metallomics" [1]. The progress in this field is largely dependent on the high-throughput acquisition of multielement and -species analytical data in biological samples. The paper gives a brief overview of the state of the art of analytical techniques and methods for the multielement quantitative analysis of biological microsamples, and for the detection, identification, and quantitation of metal-containing proteins and low-molecular-weight metabolites. The potential contribution of molecular biology techniques in terms of linking information on metals and metal-species to the genome of an organism is highlighted.