Sunday, September 11, 2016

Known unknowns of cardiolipin signaling: The best is yet to come

A few years ago I had the pleasure of spending a few days with a bunch of lipidomics experts in Pittsburgh and got to learn: 1) How ridiculously insanely hard lipidomics can be if you aren't going after the "easy" compounds and 2) How important they are 3) How very very little we know about them.

This group just wrapped up a really nice review on one of their tougher problems -- the analysis of cardiolipins. How much fun are cardiolipins to work with? Start with the fact that structurally similar ones tend to cluster in similar mass ranges, but have different functions and you have a good idea.

One example they mention in the paper, 12 of their compounds of interest are within 0.1 Da in MS1 mass and even when they fragment them to figure out which one is which -- MS2 isn't capable of elucidating the location of a functional site -- which is critical to know cause there are a slew of isomers that are within these "12" compounds. They have to employ a 2D LC method and utilize MS3 methods on an Orbitrap Fusion to figure out what they are looking at.

They also show genetics techniques they can use, as well as imaging techniques to localize these things. The problem sounds...daunting...but groups all over the world are chipping away at it. And you can't beat the optimism in the title!

Oh yeah! Paper link here!

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