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Journal Article

Acylcarnitine profiling by low-resolution LC-MS


Meierhofer,  David
Mass Spectrometry (Head: David Meierhofer), Scientific Service (Head: Christoph Krukenkamp), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Meierhofer, D. (2019). Acylcarnitine profiling by low-resolution LC-MS. PLoS One, 14(8): e0221342. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0221342.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-8CF1-E
Acylcarnitines are fatty acyl esters of L-carnitine and facilitate the entry of long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria via the carnitine shuttle, where they are metabolized via ß-oxidation. Alterations of acylcarnitine species can be diagnostic for fatty acid oxidation disorders and organic aciduria and are thus frequently used to screen newborns. Only a subfraction of all known acylcarnitines is thereby monitored and quantified. Therefore, a method for the simultaneous fast and robust detection of all known acylcarnitines was developed using a single concise liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) approach. Derivatization by 3-nitrophenylhydrazine increased the signal intensity of the acylcarnitines and a linear elution from a reversed phase column was observed that was dependent on the length of the carbon chain. This allowed a precise prediction of the exact elution time for each acylcarnitine class, which depended solely on the chemical nature of the carbon chain. This method can be further used to screen for yet unknown acylcarnitine species and adds a layer of confidence for their correct identification. Altogether 123 acylcarnitines species were used to establish a targeted low-resolution LC-MS method. The method was applied to acylcarnitine profiling in several mouse tissues and fluids, in order to identify large differences in the quantity and composition of acylcarnitines.