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J Lipid Res. 2013 Apr;54(4):1023-32. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M033837. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Simulation of triacylglycerol ion profiles: bioinformatics for interpretation of triacylglycerol biosynthesis.

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  • 1Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando, FL 32827, USA.


Although the synthesis pathways of intracellular triacylglycerol (TAG) species have been well elucidated, assessment of the contribution of an individual pathway to TAG pools in different mammalian organs, particularly under pathophysiological conditions, is difficult, although not impossible. Herein, we developed and validated a novel bioinformatic approach to assess the differential contributions of the known pathways to TAG pools through simulation of TAG ion profiles determined by shotgun lipidomics. This powerful approach was applied to determine such contributions in mouse heart, liver, and skeletal muscle and to examine the changes of these pathways in mouse liver induced after treatment with a high-fat diet. It was clearly demonstrated that assessment of the altered TAG biosynthesis pathways under pathophysiological conditions can be readily achieved through simulation of lipidomics data. Collectively, this new development should greatly facilitate our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms underpinning TAG accumulation at the states of obesity and lipotoxicity.

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