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Unequivocal Mapping of Molecular Ether Lipid Species by LC–MS/MS in Plasmalogen-Deficient Mice

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journal contribution
posted on 07.08.2020, 15:04 authored by Jakob Koch, Katharina Lackner, Yvonne Wohlfarter, Sabrina Sailer, Johannes Zschocke, Ernst R. Werner, Katrin Watschinger, Markus A. Keller
Deficient ether lipid biosynthesis in rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata and other disorders is associated with a wide range of severe symptoms including small stature with proximal shortening of the limbs, contractures, facial dysmorphism, congenital cataracts, ichthyosis, spasticity, microcephaly, and mental disability. Mouse models are available but show less severe symptoms. In both humans and mice, it has remained elusive which of the symptoms can be attributed to lack of plasmanyl or plasmenyl ether lipids. The latter compounds, better known as plasmalogens, harbor a vinyl ether double bond conferring special chemical and physical properties. Discrimination between plasmanyl and plasmenyl ether lipids is a major analytical challenge, especially in complex lipid extracts with many isobaric species. Consequently, these lipids are often neglected also in recent lipidomic studies. Here, we present a comprehensive LC–MS/MS based approach that allows unequivocal distinction of these two lipid subclasses based on their chromatographic properties. The method was validated using a novel plasmalogen-deficient mouse model, which lacks plasmanylethanolamine desaturase and therefore cannot form plasmenyl ether lipids. We demonstrate that plasmanylethanolamine desaturase deficiency causes an accumulation of plasmanyl species, a too little studied but biologically important substance class.