Quantifying acyl-chain diversity in isobaric compound lipids containing monomethyl branched-chain fatty acids

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Quantifying acyl-chain diversity in isobaric compound lipids containing monomethyl branched-chain fatty acids

Authors

Green, C. R.; Kolar, M. J.; McGregor, G. H.; Nelson, A. T.; Wallace, M.; Metallo, C.

Abstract

Compound lipids comprise a diverse group of metabolites present in living systems, and metabolic- and environmentally-driven structural distinctions across this family is increasingly linked to biological function. However, methods for deconvoluting these often isobaric lipid species are lacking or require specialized instrumentation. Notably, acyl-chain diversity within cells may be influenced by nutritional states, metabolic dysregulation, or genetic alterations. Therefore, a reliable, validated method of quantifying structurally similar even-, odd-, and branched-chain acyl groups within intact compound lipids will be invaluable for gaining molecular insights into their biological functions. Here we demonstrate the chromatographic resolution of isobaric lipids containing distinct combinations of straight-chain and branched-chain acyl groups via ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-mass spectrometry (MS) using a C30 liquid chromatography column. Using metabolically-engineered adipocytes lacking branched-keto acid dehydrogenase A (Bckdha), we validate this approach through a combination of fatty acid supplementation and metabolic tracing using monomethyl branched-chain fatty acids and valine. We observe resolution of numerous isobaric triacylglycerols and other compound lipids, demonstrating the resolving utility of this method. This approach strengthens our ability to quantify and characterize the inherent diversity of acyl chains across the lipidome.

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