The term metabolome was coined in analogy to the concepts of genome, transcriptome and proteome, and is derived from metabolism ( = metabolism) from. Occasionally, the term metabonome is used particularly in connection with the assessment of toxicity of drugs. About the precise differences between metabolome and metabonome is actively discussed.

The metabolome comprises all characteristic metabolic properties of a cell or a tissue or organism together.

These include:

  • The flow rates ( = turnover rates), metabolite levels and enzyme activities of the various metabolic pathways,
  • The interactions between the various metabolic pathways and
  • Compartmentalization of the various metabolic pathways within cells.

A further consideration is the effect of the nutrient, as well as range of the effect of the active substances on the metabolism and the various functions of cells, such as cell proliferation and apoptosis Differentierung.

The investigation of the metabolome is referred to as metabolomics ( in English " metabolomics " or " metabonomics "). This includes the interaction of the metabolites contained therein, their identification and quantification (see proteome and genome). The main analytical methods GC / MS and LC / MS and NMR spectroscopy and ion mobility spectrometers are used in metabolomics. The most common types of samples are body fluids such as serum or plasma, but also urine, cerebro-spinal fluid, synovial fluid, sputum or lavages. Alongside this tissue homogenates or cells or supernatants of cell cultures into consideration.