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J Lipid Res. 2011 May;52(5):861-72. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M010363. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Lipidomic analyses of Mycobacterium tuberculosis based on accurate mass measurements and the novel "Mtb LipidDB".

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  • 1Mycobacteria Research Laboratories, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


The cellular envelope of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is highly distinctive and harbors a wealth of unique lipids possessing diverse structural and biological properties. However, the ability to conduct global analyses on the full complement of M. tuberculosis lipids has been missing from the repertoire of tools applied to the study of this important pathogen. We have established methods to detect and identify lipids from all major M. tuberculosis lipid classes through LC/MS lipid profiling. This methodology is based on efficient chromatographic separation and automated ion identification through accurate mass determination and searching of a newly created database (Mtb LipidDB) that contains 2,512 lipid entities. We demonstrate the sensitive detection of molecules representing all known classes of M. tuberculosis lipids from a single crude extract. We also demonstrate the ability of this methodology to identify changes in lipid content in response to cellular growth phases. This work provides a customizable framework and resource to facilitate future studies on mycobacterial lipid biosynthesis and metabolism.

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