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Keywords:

  • NMR;
  • 31P;
  • metabolite profiling;
  • metabolomics;
  • chemical derivatization;
  • lipids

Abstract

New methods for obtaining metabolic fingerprints of biological samples with improved resolution and sensitivity are highly sought for early disease detection, studies of human health and pathophysiology, and for better understanding systems biology. Considering the complexity of biological samples, interest in biochemical class selection through the use of chemoselective probes for improved resolution and quantitation is increasing. Considering the role of lipids in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases, in this study fingerprinting of lipid metabolites was achieved by 31P labeling using the derivatizing agent 2-chloro-4,4,5,5-tetramethyldioxaphospholane. Lipids containing hydroxyl, aldehyde and carboxyl groups were selectively tagged with 31P and then detected with good resolution using 31P NMR by exploiting the 100% natural abundance and wide chemical shift range of 31P. After standardizing the reaction conditions using representative compounds, the derivatization approach was used to profile lipids in human serum. The results show that the 31P derivatization approach is simple, reproducible and highly quantitative, and has the potential to profile a number of important lipids in complex biological samples. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.