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.
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