A lipidomic study of the effects of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine on sphingomyelin metabolism. Academic Article uri icon


  • Systems biology is a new and rapidly developing research area in which, by quantitatively describing the interaction among all the individual components of a cell, a systems-level understanding of a biological response can be achieved. Therefore, it requires high-throughput measurement technologies for biological molecules, such as genomic and proteomic approaches for DNA/RNA and protein, respectively. Recently, a new concept, lipidomics, which utilizes the mass spectrometry (MS) method for lipid analysis, has been proposed. Using this lipidomic approach, the effects of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) on sphingomyelin metabolism, a major class of sphingolipids, were evaluated. Sphingomyelin molecules were extracted from cells and analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight MS. It was found that MNNG induced profound changes in sphingomyelin metabolism, including the appearance of some new sphingomyelin species and the disappearance of some others, and the concentrations of several sphingomyelin species also changed. This was accompanied by the redistribution of acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), a key player in sphingomyelin metabolism. On the other hand, imipramine, an inhibitor of ASM, caused the accumulation of sphingomyelin. It also prevented some of the effects of MNNG, as well as the redistribution of ASM. Taken together, these data suggested that the lipidomic approach is highly effective for the systematic analysis of cellular lipids metabolism.

published proceedings

  • Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai)

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Huang, Yun||Shen, Jing||Wang, Ting||Yu, Yan-Ke||Chen, Fanqing F||Yang, Jun

publication date

  • August 2005