Molecular characterization and targeted quantitative profiling of the sphingolipidome in rice

Toshiki Ishikawa, Yukihiro Ito, Maki Kawai-Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Recent advances in comprehensive metabolite profiling techniques, the foundation of metabolomics, is facilitating our understanding of the functions, regulation and complex networks of various metabolites in organisms. Here, we report a quantitative metabolomics technique for complex plant sphingolipids, composed of various polar head groups as well as structural isomers of hydrophobic ceramide moieties. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) was used as an experimental model of monocotyledonous plants and has been demonstrated to possess a highly complex sphingolipidome including hundreds of molecular species with a wide range of abundance. We established a high-throughput scheme for lipid preparation and mass spectrometry-based characterization of complex sphingolipid structures, which provided basic information to create a comprehensive theoretical library for targeted quantitative profiling of complex sphingolipids in rice. The established sphingolipidomic approach combined with multivariate analyses of the large dataset obtained clearly showed that different classes of rice sphingolipids, particularly including subclasses of glycosylinositol phosphoceramide with various sugar-chain head groups, are distributed with distinct quantitative profiles in various rice tissues, indicating tissue-dependent metabolism and biological functions of the lipid classes and subclasses. The sphingolipidomic analysis also highlighted that disruption of a lipid-associated gene causes a typical sphingolipidomic change in a gene-dependent manner. These results clearly support the utility of the sphingolipidomic approach in application to wide screening of sphingolipid-metabolic phenotypes as well as deeper investigation of metabolism and biological functions of complex sphingolipid species in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-693
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1


  • LC-MS/MS
  • onion mutant (oni)
  • rice (Oryza sativa)
  • sphingolipid
  • sphingolipidomics
  • technical advance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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