Metabolomics guides rational development of a simplified cell culture medium for drug screening against Trypanosoma brucei

Darren John Creek, Brunda Nijagal, Dong-Hyun Kim, Michael P Barrett, Keith R Matthews, Federico Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


In vitro culture methods underpin many experimental approaches to biology and drug discovery. The modification of established cell culture methods to make them more biologically relevant or to optimize growth is traditionally a laborious task. Emerging metabolomic technology enables the rapid evaluation of intra- and extracellular metabolites and can be applied to the rational development of cell culture media. In this study, untargeted semiquantitative and targeted quantitative metabolomic analyses of fresh and spent media revealed the major nutritional requirements for the growth of bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei. The standard culture medium (HMI11) contained unnecessarily high concentrations of 32 nutrients that were subsequently removed to make the concentrations more closely resemble those normally found in blood. Our new medium, Creek s minimal medium (CMM), supports in vitro growth equivalent to that in HMI11 and causes no significant perturbation of metabolite levels for 94 of the detected metabolome (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2768 - 2779
Number of pages12
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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