Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 290 Views Apr 5, 2023

Glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) is a conserved precursor of glycerolipids that also plays an important role in plant defense. Its levels and/or metabolism are also associated with many human disorders including insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and cancer, among others. In plants, G3P accumulates upon pathogen infection and is a critical component of systemic acquired resistance, which confers broad spectrum disease resistance against secondary infections. G3P also plays an important role in root-shoot-root signaling in soybean that regulates incompatible interactions with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Thus, accurate quantification of G3P is key to drawing a valid conclusion regarding its role in diverse processes ranging from lipid biosynthesis to defense. G3P quantification is further compounded by its rapid degradation in extracts prepared at room temperature.

Here, we describe a simplified procedure for accurate quantitative analysis of G3P from plant tissues. G3P was extracted along with the internal standard ribitol, derivatized with N-Methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MSTFA) and analyzed by gas chromatography–coupled mass spectrometry using selective ion mode. This procedure is simple, economical, and efficient, and does not involve isotopic internal standards or multiple-step derivatizations.

0 Q&A 287 Views Mar 5, 2023

Redox status assessments are time-consuming, require a large volume of samples and great reagent amounts, and are not adequately described for methodological reproducibility. Here, the objective was to standardize redox balance determination, based on previously described spectrophotometric tests in pregnant rats, to improve precision, time dispensed, and the volume of samples and reagents, while maintaining accuracy and adequate cost benefits. This protocol summarizes oxidative stress markers, which focus on spectrophotometric tests for the assessment of thiobarbituric acid–reactive substances, reduced thiol groups, and hydrogen peroxide, as well as the antioxidant activity of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase in washed erythrocyte and serum samples from full-term pregnant rats. For non-pregnant rats and other species, it is necessary to standardize these determinations, especially the sample volume. All measurements were normalized by the estimated protein concentrations in each sample. To establish optimum conditions for the reproducibility of the proposed methods, we describe all changes made in each assay’s steps based on the reference method reassessed for the new standardizations. Furthermore, the calculations of the concentrations or activities of each marker are presented. Thus, we demonstrate that the analysis of serum samples is easier and faster, but it is impossible to detect catalase activity. Furthermore, the proposed methods can be applied for redox balance determination, especially using smaller reagent amounts and lower sample volumes in lesser time without losing accuracy, as is required in obtaining samples during rat pregnancy.

0 Q&A 3906 Views Mar 5, 2022

The ability to stain lipid stores in vivo allows for the facile assessment of metabolic status in individuals of a population following genetic and environmental manipulation or pharmacological treatment. In the animal model Caenorhabditis elegans, lipids are stored in and mobilized from intracellular lipid droplets in the intestinal and hypodermal tissues. The abundance, size, and distribution of these lipids can be readily assessed by two staining methods for neutral lipids: Oil Red O (ORO) and Nile Red (NR). ORO and NR can be used to quantitatively measure lipid droplet abundance, while ORO can also define tissue distribution and lipid droplet size. C. elegans are a useful animal model in studying pathways relating to aging, fat storage, and metabolism, as their transparent nature allows for easy microscopic assessment of lipid droplets. This is done by fixation and permeabilization, staining with NR or ORO, image capture on a microscope, and computational identification and quantification of lipid droplets in individuals within a cohort. To ensure reproducibility in lipid measurements, we provide a detailed protocol to measure intracellular lipid dynamics in C. elegans.

Graphic abstract:

Flow chart depicting the preparation of C. elegans for fat staining protocols.

0 Q&A 3672 Views Aug 20, 2021

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a popular model system for studying the regulation of lipid metabolism. Therefore, it is critical to develop a method for determining fat storage in individual worms. Oil Red O (ORO) staining has been validated as an accurate assessment for major fat storage in C. elegans. Here, we describe an optimized protocol for ORO staining of C. elegans and provide detailed instructions for quantifying the intensity of ORO signal in images acquired by light microscopy.

0 Q&A 2675 Views Dec 20, 2020

Lipid droplets store triacylglycerols (triglycerides) and sterol esters to regulate lipid and energy homeostasis. Triacylglycerol measurement is often performed during the investigation of lipid droplet formation and growth. This protocol describes a reliable method using a fluorometric lipid quantification kit to measure triacylglycerols extracted from HeLa cells, which were treated with oleic acid to trigger the formation of lipid droplets. The lipid quantification kit employs a lipid-binding molecule that emits bright fluorescence only when bound to extracted triacylglycerols, whose content can be quantified by a simple fluorescence readout.

0 Q&A 3471 Views Nov 20, 2020
Several studies suggest an important role of lipid metabolism in regulating longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans. Therefore, assays to quantify lipids have enormous value in understanding aging and pathologies associated with it. Approximately 70% of lipid metabolism genes in the nematode have orthologs in humans. Amenability of C. elegans to genetic manipulations has allowed investigations into the role of specific genetic factors in lipid metabolism. Here, we describe a protocol to quantify total triglycerides in C. elegans, which can be extended to studies of the effects of altered environmental and genetic factors on stored fats. This protocol quantifies the picomoles of the triglycerides, in whole worm lysate. Due to the sensitivity of the assay, it could help in identifying subtle changes in the total stored fat which are not discernible with microscopy techniques.
1 Q&A 4191 Views May 5, 2020
In mammalian organisms, fatty acids (FAs) exist mostly in esterified forms, as building blocks of phospholipids, triglycerides, and cholesteryl esters, while some exist as non-esterified free FAs. The absolute quantification of FA species in total lipids or in a specific lipid class is critical in lipid-metabolism studies. To quantify FAs in biological samples, gas chromatography–hydrogen flame ionization detection (GC-FID)-based methods have been used as highly robust and reliable techniques. Prior to GC-FID analysis, FAs need to be derivatized to volatile FA methyl esters (FAMEs). The derivatization of unsaturated FAs using classical derivatization methods that rely on high reaction temperature requires skill; consequently, the quantification results are often unreliable. The recently available FA-methylation procedure rapidly and reliably derivatizes a variety of FA species, including poly-unsaturated FAs (PUFAs). To analyze FAs in mammalian tissue samples, lipid extraction and fractionation are also critical for robust analysis. In this report, we describe a whole protocol for the GC-FID-based FA quantification of mammalian tissue samples, including lipid extraction, fractionation, derivatization, and quantification. The protocol is useful when various FAs, especially unsaturated FAs, need to be reliably quantified.
0 Q&A 12931 Views Sep 20, 2018
Fatty acids (FAs) are carboxylic acids with long aliphatic chains that may be straight, branched and saturated or unsaturated. Most of the naturally occurring plant FAs contains an even number of carbon (C4-C24). FAs are used in food and pharmacological industries due to their nutritional importance. In addition, FAs are considered as a promising alternative for the production of biodiesel from terrestrial plant biomass. To establish commercial applications, more reliable analytical methods are needed for the identification, quantification, and composition determination of FAs. Here, we describe a relatively rapid and sensitive method for the extraction, identification, and quantification of FAs from a small quantity of plant tissue. The method includes steps of lipid extraction, conversion of lipid to fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) by transmethylation, identification and quantification of FAMEs using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In this protocol, an internal standard is added prior to GC-MS analysis. The amount of each FA is calculated from its peak area relative to the peak area of the internal standard.
0 Q&A 5022 Views Jul 5, 2018
The here described method can be used to estimate the uptake of orally provided cholesterol in mice. Briefly, mice are gavaged with radiolabeled cholesterol and 4 h later, organ distribution of the radiolabel is determined by liquid scintillation counting. The method has been applied successfully to determine dietary cholesterol handling of mice housed at different ambient temperatures
0 Q&A 6966 Views Apr 5, 2018
Lipid transfer from host plants to arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi was hypothesized for several years because sequenced arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal genomes lack genes encoding cytosolic fatty acid synthase (Wewer et al., 2014; Rich et al., 2017). It was finally shown by two independent experimental approaches (Jiang et al., 2017; Keymer et al., 2017; Luginbuehl et al., 2017). One approach used a technique called isotopolog profiling (Keymer et al., 2017). Isotopologs are molecules, which differ only in their isotopic composition. For isotopolog profiling an organism is fed with a heavy isotope labelled precursor metabolite. Subsequently, the labelled isotopolog composition of metabolic products is analysed via mass spectrometry. The detected isotopolog pattern of the metabolite(s) of interest yields information about metabolic pathways and fluxes (Ahmed et al., 2014). The following protocol describes an experimental setup, which enables separate isotopolog profiling of fatty acids in plant roots colonized by arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi and their associated fungal extraradical mycelium, to elucidate fluxes between both symbiotic organisms. We predict that this strategy can also be used to study metabolite fluxes between other organisms if the two interacting organisms can be physically separated.

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