Selective desorption/ionization of sulfatides by MALDI-MS facilitated using 9-aminoacridine as matrix.
Recently, we used the favorable properties of 9-aminoacridine (9-AA) as matrix for the quantitative analysis of acidic metabolites and glycerophospholipids from extracts of biological materials [Sun, G., Yang, K., Zhao, Z., Guan, S., Han, X., and Gross, R.W. (2007) A shotgun metabolomics approach for rapid analysis of negatively-charged water-soluble cellular metabolites from mouse heart tissue. Anal. Chem. 79: 6629-6640; Sun, G., Yang, K., Zhao, Z., Guan, S., Han, X., and Gross, R.W. (2008) Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometric analysis of cellular glycerophospholipids enabled by multiplexed solvent dependent analyte-matrix interactions. Anal. Chem. 80: 7576-7585.] by MALDI-MS. Herein, we extend this discovery and identified the selective desorption/ionization of sulfatides over other examined anionic lipids present in lipid extracts of biological samples by MALDI-MS using 9-AA as matrix. Through this approach, a high throughput method for the quantitative analysis of low to very low abundance sulfatide molecular species directly from crude lipid extracts has been developed. This method possessed a linear dynamic range of over 1,000-fold, a detection limit at the high attomole level, and a reproducibility of approximately 10% deviation. Many potential factors that might affect the quantitation of sulfatide species employing the method were examined and their effects were found to be negligible within experimental error. Collectively, these results demonstrate a powerful high throughput method for the measurement of sulfatides directly from extracts of biological samples, facilitating the study of sulfatide metabolism, trafficking, and homeostasis in health and disease.