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SJTU Lv Haitao’s Team First Defined STORM Functional Metabolomics Strategy

March 15, 2021      Author:

Recently, SJTU Lv Haitao’s research team was invited to publish the annual Critical Review “Functional Metabolomics Innovates Therapeutic Discovery of Traditional Chinese Medicine Derived Functional Compounds” in Pharmacology & Therapeutics, a highly influential academic journal under Elsevier. Researcher Lv Haitao from is the corresponding author of the review; master candidate Wang Tianyu, doctoral student Liu Jingjing, doctoral student Luo Xialin, and doctoral student Hu Longlong are the co-first authors. Part of the research is supported by the National Key Research and Development Program, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University High-level Talent Startup Fund.


The primary goal of modern research and development of TCM is drug discovery and development (DDD), which can be better used for clinical prevention and treatment of different diseases, and effectively improve population health. Given the complex characteristics of TCM derived functional compounds and the mode of action of the drug, traditional methods and strategies are still limited, so the research on developing druggability of the functional components of traditional Chinese medicine is still progressing slowly. Functional Metabolomics strategy driven by the concept of systems biology has good practical prospects and may bring about a bright future that can be expected in modern TCM research.

From a new perspective, this article proposes several concepts suited to the study of functional components of traditional Chinese medicines—disease-functional metabolite biomarker (DFMT) and systems metabolic target (SMT)—and summaries and expects the theoretical basis and practical potential of Functional Metabolomics (V1.0) for the research on the medicinal properties of functional components of traditional Chinese medicines.

In addition, the article proposes the strategy of Functional Metabolomics (V 2.0)-STORM-Spatial Temporal Operative Real Metabolomics based on the cognition and measurement of the complex properties of system metabolism, which can comprehensively and systematically achieve precise and accurate verification of SMT for therapeutic screening and SMT-driven structural optimization and modification to determine the functional components of traditional Chinese medicines, and to realize the leap from the study of the therapeutic mechanism to the research of functional compounds based DDD. With the development, improvement and upgrade of the STORM strategy, it has great potential to be applied to basic exploration and translational application of key scientific issues in different fields of life science or biomedicine.




Author: Lv Haitao

Source: Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine, SJTU

Translated by Fu Jing   Proofread by Xiao Yangning, Fu Yuhe





Traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) produce chemically diverse functional compounds that are importantly chemical resource for facilitating new drug discovery and development against a diversity of diseases. However, modern exploration of TCM derived functional compounds is significantly hindered by the inefficient elucidation of pharmacological functions over past decades, because conventional research methods are incapable of efficiently elucidating therapeutic potential of TCM conferred by multiple functional compounds. Functional metabolomics has the priority-capacity to characterize systems therapeutic actions of TCM by precisely capturing molecular interactions between disease response metabolite biomarkers (DRMB) and functional compounds (secondary metabolites), which underline pharmacological efficiency and associated therapeutic mechanisms. In this critical review, we innovatively summarize systems therapeutic feature of TCM derived functional compounds from a functional-metabolism perspective, then In addition, we (STORM) to considerably improve analytical capacity of functional metabolomics method by selectively incorporating the cutting edge technologies of mass spectrometry imaging, isotope-metabolic fluxomics, synthetic and biosynthetic chemistry, which could considerably Collectively, such critical review is expected to