Characterization and Quantification of Diacylglycerol Species in Biological Extracts after One-Step Derivatization: A Shotgun Lipidomics Approach
Diacylglycerols (DAGs) are important intermediates of lipid metabolism and cellular signaling. It is well known that the mass levels of DAG are altered under disease states. Therefore, quantitative analysis of DAGs in biological samples can provide critical information to uncover underlying mechanisms of various cellular functional disorders. Although great efforts on the analysis of individual DAG species have recently been made by utilizing mass spectrometry with or without derivatization, cost effective and high throughput methodology for identification and quantification of all DAG species including regioisomers, particularly in an approach of shotgun lipidomics, are still missing. Herein, we described a novel method for directly identifying and quantifying DAG species including regioisomers present in lipid extracts of biological samples after facile one-step derivatization with dimethylglycine based on the principles of multi-dimensional mass spectrometry-based shotgun lipidomics. The established method provided substantial sensitivity (low limit of quantification at amol/μl), high specificity, and broad linear dynamics range (2,500 folds) without matrix effects. By exploiting this novel method, we revealed a 16-fold increase of total DAG mass in the livers of ob/ob mice compared to their wild type controls at 4 months of age (an insulin-resistant state) vs. a 5-fold difference between 3-month old mice (with normal insulin). These results demonstrated the importance and power of the method for studying biochemical mechanisms underpinning disease states.