Comparative lipidomics of caenorhabditis elegans metabolic disease models by SWATH non-targeted tandem mass spectrometry

Jeevan K. Prasain, Landon Wilson, Hieu D. Hoang, Ray Moore, Michael A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) with Sequential Window Acquisition of all Theoretical (SWATH) mass spectra generates a comprehensive archive of lipid species within an extract for retrospective, quantitative MS/MS analysis. Here we apply this new technology in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to identify potential lipid mediators and pathways. The DAF-1 type I TGF-β and DAF-2 insulin receptors transmit endocrine signals that couple metabolic status to fertility and lifespan. Mutations in daf-1 and daf-2 reduce prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (i.e., Cox)-independent prostaglandin synthesis, increase triacylglyceride storage, and alter transcription of numerous lipid metabolism genes. However, the extent to which DAF-1 and DAF-2 signaling modulate lipid metabolism and the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. MS/MSALL with SWATH analysis across the groups identified significant changes in numerous lipids, including specific triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, and phosphatidylinositols. Examples are provided, using retrospective neutral loss and precursor ion scans as well as MS/MS spectra, to help identify annotated lipids and search libraries for lipids of interest. As proof of principle, we used comparative lipidomics to investigate the prostaglandin metabolism pathway. SWATH data support an unanticipated model: Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis may involve lysophosphatidylcholine and other lyso glycerophospholipids. This study showcases the power of comprehensive, retrospectively searchable lipid archives as a systems approach for biological discovery in genetic animal models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-696
Number of pages20
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 11 2015


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Insulin
  • Lipidomics
  • MS/MS
  • Prostaglandin
  • Tandem mass spectrometry
  • Triglycerides


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