Sick and Tired of TLC?

Sick and Tired of TLC?

Author: Lisa-Marie Rauschendorfer

Lipids play a key role in cells, as they constitute membranes, take part in signaling and provide metabolic energy. Gaining information about the field of lipidomics is one key element of biological research. In small laboratories identification of neutral lipids is usually accomplished by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) because it requires little equipment. Unfortunately, the procedure is time-consuming and not suited for the determination of molecular species of diacylglycerols (DAGs) and triacylglycerols (TAGs).

Nicolas Rozes, Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain, and colleagues have developed and optimized a new protocol for lipid identification for gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Here, samples extracted by a classic lipid extraction can be rapidly analyzed. Besides the simplicity of their new method, a further advantage of the GC-MS is its versatility, as GC parameters can be easily adjusted to suit diverse biological samples. They validated their protocol by comparing lipid extracts from yeast grown with and without oxygen. GC-MS is advantageous in detection and identification of TAGs, DAGs, and intermediates of sterol biosynthesis compared to TLC.


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