Metabolomic profiling of sphingolipids in human glioma cell lines by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.
Sphingolipids participate in membrane structure and signaling in neuronal cells, and an emerging strategy for control of gliomas is to inhibit growth and/or induce apoptosis using ceramide and ceramide analogs. Nonetheless, some sphingolipids (ceramides and sphingosine) induce and others (sphingosine 1-phosphate) inhibit apoptosis; therefore, when testing putative anti-cancer agents, it is critical to obtain precise knowledge of the types and quantities of not only the test compounds, but also their effects on endogenous species. Combination of liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry affords a "metabolomic" profile of all of the intermediates of ceramide biosynthesis (3-ketosphinganine, sphinganine and dihydroceramides) and the direct products of ceramide metabolism (sphingomyelins and monohexosylceramides as well as sphingosine and sphingosine 1-phosphate). This method has been applied to four human glioma cell lines (LN18, LN229, LN319 and T98G), and differences in the amounts and types of sphingolipids were found. For example, LN229 and LN319 have approximately twice the sphingosine 1-phosphate of LN18 and T98G; LN229 and LN319 have more monohexosylceramides than lactosylceramides, whereas the opposite is the case for LN18 and T98G; and the fatty acyl chain distributions of the sphingolipids differ among the cell lines. The ability to obtain this type of "metabolomic" profile allows studies of how anti-cancer agents (especially sphingolipids and sphingolipid analogs) affect the amounts of these bioactive species, and may lead to a better understanding of the abnormal phenotypes of gliomas.
Sullards, MC; Wang, E; Peng, Q; Merrill, AH
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