Atmospheric pressure photoionization as a powerful tool for large-scale lipidomic studies.
Globotriaosylceramides (Gb(3)) are biological compounds implicated in Fabry disease, a lysosomal storage disease due to the deficient activity of alpha-D-galactosidase A, which results in an accumulation of Gb(3) in many organs. The naturally occurring samples are composed of mixtures of several molecular species differing by the structure of the alkyl chains and the nature of the sphingoid base. Atmospheric pressure photoionization mass spectrometry (APPI-MS) proved to be an efficient method for the analysis of globotriaosylceramide molecular species, both in direct injection and by coupling with liquid chromatography (LC). In the positive ion mode, in-source fragmentations yield very precious information that can be used to determine the structure of the alkyl chains. In the negative ion mode, the chloroform solvent participates to the analyte ionization by forming an adduct with chloride ions generated in situ. Combination of LC on a Porous Graphitic Carbon stationary phase and APPI-MS allowed the detection of a great number of species from biological samples isolated from Fabry patients. This method could be an interesting analytical tool for the biochemical investigation of (sphingo) lipid metabolism.