Development of an assay for fatty acyl-CoAs using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry and its application to the stable isotope labeling and quantitation of sphingolipid metabolism
Haynes, Christopher Allen
MetadataShow full item record
Fatty acyl-Coenzyme As are metabolites of lipid anabolism and catabolism. A method was developed for their quantitation in extracts of cultured mammalian cells using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Palmitoyl-CoA (C16:0-CoA) is utilized for de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis catalyzed by serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), which condenses palmitoyl-CoA and serine to form 3-ketosphinganine. After reduction to form sphinganine (Sa), dihydroceramide synthase (CerS) can N-acylate the Sa using a second fatty acyl-CoA molecule, forming dihydroceramide (DHCer). The CerS enzyme family utilizes different acyl chain lengths of fatty acyl-CoAs in an isoform-specific manner, resulting in DHCer with N-acyl chains ranging from C16 to C26 [and even longer] in mammalian tissues. DHCer is trans-4,5-desaturated to yield ceramide, which is further metabolized by the addition of moieties at the 1-O-position, forming sphingomyelin (SM) and ceramide monohexose (CMH). The rates of fatty acyl-CoA and sphingolipid biosynthesis were determined using stable isotope-labeling and LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis of the analyte isotopologues and isotopomers. Isotopic labeling of palmitoyl-CoA with [U-13C]-palmitate in HEK293 and RAW264.7 cells was robust and rapid (~ 60% labeling of the metabolite pool in 3 hr). Isotopic labeling of sphingolipids indicated utilization of [M + 16]-palmitoyl-CoA by SPT and CerS isoforms in both cell types. Metabolic flux modeling was applied to the data for [U-13C]-palmitate activation to [M + 16]-palmitoyl-CoA and its subsequent utilization in de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis, and this analysis indicated rapid turn-over rates for palmitoyl-CoA and ceramide in both cell types. Palmitate treatment of cultured cells alters their metabolic status and gene expression, therefore labeling of palmitoyl-CoA by treatment with [1-13C]-acetate was employed. A distribution of mass-shifted palmitoyl-CoA species (isotopologues) is observed based on the number of incorporations of [1-13C]-acetate during de novo biosynthesis, requiring computational analysis to derive two parameters: the isotopic enrichment of the precursor pool, and the fraction of palmitoyl-CoA that was biosynthesized during the experiment. Previous reports by others describe mass isotopomer distribution analysis (MIDA) and isotopomer spectral analysis (ISA) for this purpose, and both calculation approaches indicated concurrent results. In summary, the quantitation of fatty acyl-CoAs and their isotopic enrichment during stable isotope-labeling studies of lipid metabolism can provide data that significantly change the interpretation of analyte quantitation in these experiments, as demonstrated here for investigations of de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis.