Strategies and data analysis techniques for lipid and phospholipid chemistry elucidation by intact cell MALDI-FTMS

by Jones, Jeffrey J.; Stump, Michael J.; Fleming, Richard C.; Lay, Jackson O.; Wilkins, Charles L.

Ions attributed to lipids and phospholipids are directly observed by desorption from whole bacteria using intact cell (IQ matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization (MALDI) Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FTMS). Saccharomyces cerevisiae are grown in rich media broth, concentrated, and applied directly to the MALDI surface without lysis or chemical treatment. FTMS of MALDI ions gives excellent signal to noise ratios with typical resolving powers of 90,000 and mass precision better than 0.002 Da. Use of accurate mass measurements and a simple set of rules allow assignment of major peaks into one of twelve expected lipid classes. Subsequently, fractional mass versus whole number mass plots are employed to enhance visual interpretation of the high-resolution data and to facilitate detection of related ions such as those representing homologous series or different degrees of unsaturation. This approach, coupled with rules based on bacterial biochemistry, is used to classify ions with m/z up to about 1000. Major spectral peaks in the range m/z 200-1000 are assigned as lipids and phospholipids. In this study, it is assumed that biologically-derived ions with m/z values lower than 1000 are lipids. This is not unreasonable in view of the facts that molecular weights of lipids are almost always less than 1000 Da, that the copy numbers for lipids in a cell are higher than those for any single protein or other component, and that lipids are generally collections of distinct homologous partners, unlike proteins or other cell components. This paper presents a new rapid lipid-profiling method based on IC MALDI-FTMS.

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Start Page
1879-1123; 1044-0305