Electrospray mass spectrometry of phospholipids

Authors

  • Melissa Pulfer,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cell Biology, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, Colorado 80206
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  • Robert C. Murphy

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cell Biology, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, Colorado 80206
    • National Jewish Medical and Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

 I.Introduction332
II.Techniques and Methods334
 A.  Sample Preparation334
 B.  ESI-MS/MS336
     1.  Glycerophosphocholine (GPCho) Lipids336
     2.  Sphingomyelin341
     3.  Glycerophosphoethanolamine (GPEtn) Lipids342
     4.  Glycerophosphatidic Acid (GPA) Lipids344
     5.  Glycerophosphoinositol (GPI) Lipids346
     6.  Glycerophosphoglycerol (GPGro) Lipids349
     7.  Glycerophosphoserine (GPSer) Lipids349
     8.  Cardiolipin351
 C.  Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) Analysis353
 D.  Precursor-Ion and Neutral-Loss Scanning353
 E.  Quantitation355
III.Research Applications356
IV.Conclusion359
Acknowledgments360
Abbreviations360
References360

Phospholipids play a central role in the biochemistry of all living cells. These molecules constitute the lipid bilayer defining the outer confines of a cell, but also serve as the structural entities which confine subcellular components. Mass spectrometry has emerged as a powerful tool useful for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of complex phospholipids, including glycerophospholipids and the sphingolipid, sphingomyelin. Collision induced decomposition of both positive and negative molecular ion species yield rich information as to the polar head group of the phospholipid and the fatty-acyl substituents esterified to the glycerophospholipid backbone. This review presents the current level of understanding of the mechanisms involved in the formation of various product ions following collisional activation of molecular ion species generated by electrospray ionization of the common glycerophospholipids, including phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylserine, cardiolipin, and sphingomyelin. Recent advances in the application of matrix assisted laser desorption ionization is also considered. Several applications of mass spectrometry applied to phospholipid analysis are presented as they apply to physiology as well as pathophysiology. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Mass Spec Rev 22:332–364, 2003; Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI 10.1002/mas.10061

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