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Methods Enzymol. 2007;433:213-30.

Quantification of cardiolipin by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

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Department of Biochemistry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.


Cardiolipin (CL), a tetra-acylated glycerophospholipid composed of two phosphatidyl moieties linked by a bridging glycerol, plays an important role in mitochondrial function in eukaryotic cells. Alterations to the content and acylation state of CL cause mitochondrial dysfunction and may be associated with pathologies such as ischemia, hypothyrodism, aging, and heart failure. The structure of CL is very complex because of microheterogeneity among its four acyl chains. Here we have developed a method for the quantification of CL molecular species by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. We quantify the [M-2H](2-) ion of a CL of a given molecular formula and identify the CLs by their total number of carbons and unsaturations in the acyl chains. This method, developed using mouse macrophage RAW 264.7 tumor cells, is broadly applicable to other cell lines, tissues, bacteria and yeast. Furthermore, this method could be used for the quantification of lyso-CLs and bis-lyso-CLs.

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