A Rapid and Adaptable Lipidomics Method for Quantitative UPLC-mass Spectrometric Analysis of Phosphatidylethanolamine and Phosphatidylcholine in Vitro, and in Cells

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) are highly prevalent phospholipids in mammalian membranes. There are currently no methods for detection of minute levels of these phospholipids or simultaneously with products of the utilization of these phospholipid substrates by phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes. To examine the substrate utilization of PE and PC by PLA2, we developed a method to accurately detect and measure specific forms of PE and PC as low as 50 femtomoles. Validation of this method consisted of an enzymatic assay to monitor docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid release from the hydrolysis of PE and PC by group IV phospholipase A2 (cPLA2α) coupled to the generation of Lyso-PE (LPE) and Lyso-PC (LPC). In addition, the PE and PC profiles of RAW 264.7 macrophages were monitored with zymosan/lipopolysaccharide-treatment. Finally, genetic validation for the specificity of the method consisted of the downregulation of two biosynthetic enzymes responsible for the production of PE and PC, choline kinase A (CHKA) and ethanolamine kinase 1 (ETNK1). This new UPLC ESI-MS/MS method provides accurate and highly sensitive detection of PE and PC species containing AA and DHA allowing for the specific examination of the substrate utilization of these phospholipids by PLA2in vitro and in cells.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Analytical Methods, v. 11, p. 1765-1776