About the consortium
LIPID Metabolites And Pathways Strategy (LIPID MAPS) is a multi-institutional effort created in 2003 to identify and quantitate, using a systems biology approach and sophisticated mass spectrometers, all of the major — and many minor — lipid species in mammalian cells, as well as to quantitate the changes in these species in response to perturbation.
The ultimate goal of our research is to better understand lipid metabolism and the active role lipids play in diabetes, stroke, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's and other lipid-based diseases in order to facilitate development of more effective treatments.
Since our inception, we have made great strides toward defining the "lipidome" (an inventory of the thousands of individual lipid molecular species) in the mouse macrophage. We have also worked to make lipid analysis easier and more accessible for the broader scientific community and to advance a robust research infrastructure for the international research community. We share new lipidomics findings and methods, hold annual meetings open to all interested investigators, and are exploring joint efforts to extend the use of these powerful new methods to new applications. Resources available include:
- LIPID MAPS publications, including peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters
- detailed biochemical pathways elucidated
- improved protocols for lipid separation and quantification
- analytical tools for determining lipid quantitation
- structure drawing tools for automatically drawing lipid molecular structures in stereochemical detail
- some 500 mass spectrometric standards
- Experimental data (e.g., Kdo2-Lipid A stimulation time-course and compactin inhibition studies in RAW cells)
The LIPID MAPS organization includes six lipidomics core laboratories, each specialized in extracting, identifying, and quantifying one of the major categories of mammalian lipids: fatty acyls, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, sterol lipids, and prenol lipids. Other core laboratories and bridge projects include bioinformatics, mass spectrometric imaging, lipid synthesis, oxidized lipids, and macrophage biology and genomics.
Our lipidomics division of labor is consistent with our new lipid classification system - the first internationally accepted lipid classification, nomenclature, and structural representation system suitable for the complex bioinformatics databasing required to analyze the numerous molecular species of lipids (initially reported in 2005 and updated in 2009 in The Journal of Lipid Research).
LIPID MAPS is funded by a large-scale collaborative research grant ("Glue Grant") from the NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences. LIPID MAPS national team of researchers is led by Edward A. Dennis, distinguished professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Lipid Research.