Lipidomics

The Lipidomics Facility undertakes the detection and identification of lipids, with a focus on providing biological meaning to these generated lipid profiles through biosynthetic metabolic pathway analyses.

Lipid profiles are acquired using chromatographic separation coupled with mass spectrometry, which includes the detection of 35 lipid subclasses (around 760 lipid molecular species). Semi-quantitative results and statistical analysis are provided using bioinformatics tools for analysing these large datasets according to the classification/nomenclature proposed by the LIPID MAPS® Lipidomics gateway consortium.

Key services

Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of lipids is at the core of lipidomics research, which consists of obtaining a lipid profile (or lipidome) accompanied by the translation of the results into biological meaning.  The lipidome requires relative and/or absolute quantitation of lipid levels of a "before" sample and an "after" sample, and then compares the data sets to see what has changed.  Comparisons of hundreds of lipid molecular species is challenging and the lipidomics research facility uses bioinformatics and statistical tools to find those important significant differences in large data sets.

Semi-quantitative acquisition of lipid profiles from diverse types of mammalian cells, tissues, C. elegans, yeast, immune-precipitated protein complexes, mitochondria, Drosophila melanogaster, parental, and cancer stem cells have been obtained through collaboration agreements. We also aim to interrogate the lipidome in a variety of species, please don't hesitate to contact us. Current methodology (chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry) allows for the identification of 35 lipid subclasses, as dictated in the classification/nomenclature proposed by the LIPID MAPS® Lipidomics gateway consortium.  We aim to investigate other lipid subclasses/metabolites of biological significance. Please contact us to discuss your project and start a collaboration.

Expertise and Advice

Our team offers a multidisciplinary platform for the interpretation of lipid changes in biological systems. The Lipidomics Facility research scientists specialise in the translation of lipid profiles into biosynthetic metabolic pathways.  The team have extensive expertise in mass spectrometry and chromatographic separations applied to chemical and biological questions. A collaboration with our team will yield a powerful analysis of the lipid profile and an in-depth careful statistical analysis of the results using R-studio scripts developed in collaboration with the bioinformatics group on-site.  Bioinformatic pathway analysis is performed for the determination of lipid metabolism enzymes modified by treatment or physiological state, providing graphical representations of the results.

Key Facts

Over 15 scientific collaborations, both local and international, in a variety of biological science fields; 8 novel quantitative methods developed in the facility to offer a comprehensive lipid profile to cover the cellular lipidome. Over 35 lipid subclasses can be analysed and quantified with the lipidomics research facility resources. Only last year, 295 samples were processed, which translates into a total of 1,398 chromatographic runs and 5,457 lipid classes analysed (this data does not includes the molecular species reported for each replica). A collaboration with the lipidomics team delivers translation of the lipid profile into signalling pathways and  includes lipid levels reporting accompanied by statistical analysis and graphics.

Facility flier (pdf)

Contact:

lipidomics@babraham.ac.uk

Lipidomics workflow
Lipidomics detail
Lipidomics structure