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J Biol Chem. 2011 Feb 4;286(5):3298-306. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.186353. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Visualization of lipid droplet composition by direct organelle mass spectrometry.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Plant Lipid Research, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas 76203, USA.

Abstract

An expanding appreciation for the varied functions of neutral lipids in cellular organisms relies on a more detailed understanding of the mechanisms of lipid production and packaging into cytosolic lipid droplets (LDs). Conventional lipid profiling procedures involve the analysis of tissue extracts and consequently lack cellular or subcellular resolution. Here, we report an approach that combines the visualization of individual LDs, microphase extraction of lipid components from droplets, and the direct identification of lipid composition by nanospray mass spectrometry, even to the level of a single LD. The triacylglycerol (TAG) composition of LDs from several plant sources (mature cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) embryos, roots of cotton seedlings, and Arabidopsis thaliana seeds and leaves) were examined by direct organelle mass spectrometry and revealed the heterogeneity of LDs derived from different plant tissue sources. The analysis of individual LDs makes possible organellar resolution of molecular compositions and will facilitate new studies of LD biogenesis and functions, especially in combination with analysis of morphological and metabolic mutants. Furthermore, direct organelle mass spectrometry could be applied to the molecular analysis of other subcellular compartments and macromolecules.

PMID:
21118810
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3030335
Free PMC Article

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