Systematic re-evaluation of the long-used standard protocol of urease-dependent metabolome sample preparation

Jungyeon Kim, Joong Kyong Ahn, Yu Eun Cheong, Sung Joon Lee, Hoon Suk Cha, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the urinary metabolomics for finding biomarkers in urine, owing to high concentrations of urea, for chromatography-based metabolomic analysis, urea needed to be degraded by urease. This urease pretreatment has been the key step of sample preparation for standard urinary metabolomics until today even for mass spectrometry-based analysis. The urease pretreatment involving incubation of urine with urease contradicts the concept of metabolome sampling, which should immediately arrest metabolic reactions to prevent alterations of a metabolite profile. Nonetheless, the impact of urease pretreatment has not been clearly elucidated yet. We found that activities of urease and endogenous urinary enzymes and metabolite contaminants from the urease preparations introduce artefacts into metabolite profiles, thus leading to misinterpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0230072
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the grant support from the Basic Research Laboratory program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (2018R1A4A1022589).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2020 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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