In Situ Structural Characterization of Glycerophospholipids and Sulfatides in Brain Tissue Using MALDI-MS/MS

Shelley N. Jackson, Hay Yan J Wang, Amina S. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Lipids are major structural components of biomembranes. Negatively charged species such as phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylserine, sulfatides, and the zwitterionic phosphatidylethanolamines are major components of the cytoplasmic surface of the cellular membrane lipid bilayer and play a key role in several receptors signaling functions. Lipids are not just involved in metabolic and neurological diseases; negatively charged lipids in particular play crucial roles in physiological events such as signal transduction, receptors, and enzymatic activation, as well as storage and release of therapeutic drugs and toxic chemicals in the body. Due to the importance of their role in signaling, the field of lipidomics has rapidly expanded in recent years. In the present study, direct probing of tissue slices with negative ion mode matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry was employed to profile the distribution of lipids in the brain. In total, 32 lipid species consisting of phosphatidylethanolamines, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositols, phosphatidylserines, and sulfatides were assigned. To confirm the structure of lipid species, MALDI-MS/MS analysis was conducted. Product-ion spectra obtained in negative ion mode allow for the assignment of the head groups and the fatty acid chains for the lipid species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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