Sulfate-based lipids: analysis of healthy human fluids and cell extracts

Irundika Dias, Ana Reis, Rita Ferreira, Florian Gruber, Rui Vitorino, Andrea Rivas-Urbina, Jose Luis Sanchez-Quesada, Joana Silva, Margarida Fardilha, Victor Freitas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Sulfate-based lipids (SL) have been proposed as players in inflammation, immunity and infection. In spite of the many biochemical processes linked to SL, analysis on this class of lipids has only focused on specific SL sub-classes in individual fluids or cells leaving a range of additional SL in other biological samples unaccounted for.

    This study describes the mass spectrometry screening of SL in lipid extracts of human fluids (saliva, plasma, urine, seminal fluid) and primary human cells (RBC, neutrophils, fibroblasts and skin epidermal) using targeted precursor ion scanning (PIS) approach. The PIS 97 mass spectra reveal a wide diversity of SL including steroid sulfates, sulfoglycolipids and other unidentified SL, as well as metabolites such as taurines, sulfated polyphenols and hypurate conjugates. Semi-quantification of SL revealed that plasma exhibited the highest content of SL whereas seminal fluid and epithelial cells contained the highest sulphur to phosphorous (S/P) ratio.

    The complexity of biofluids and cells sulfateome presented in this study highlight the importance of expanding the panel of synthetic sulfate-based lipid standards. Also, the heterogenous distribution of SL provides evidence for the interplay of sulfotransferases/sulfatases opening new avenues for biomarker discovery in oral health, cardiovascular, fertility and dermatology research areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-64
    Number of pages12
    JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
    Early online date22 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

    Bibliographical note

    © 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

    Funding: Kidney Research Foundation PDF3/2014. Portuguese National Funds (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000011). QOPNA (UID/QUI/00062/2013). Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development. FEDER funds through the “Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização- COMPETE 2020” and the National Funds through the FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. ISCIII- FIS PI16-00471 and CIBERDEM. Projects PTDB/BBB-BQB/3804/2014. iBiMED (UID/BIM/04501/2013 and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007628 (SFRH/BPD/123155/2016).


    • Cholesterol sulfate
    • Electronegative LDL
    • Hypurate conjugates
    • Polyphenol metabolites
    • Seminal fluid
    • Sulfoglycolipids
    • Taurine conjugates


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