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1.  Evaluation of Extraction Protocols for Simultaneous Polar and Non-Polar Yeast Metabolite Analysis Using Multivariate Projection Methods 
Metabolites  2013;3(3):592-605.
Metabolomic and lipidomic approaches aim to measure metabolites or lipids in the cell. Metabolite extraction is a key step in obtaining useful and reliable data for successful metabolite studies. Significant efforts have been made to identify the optimal extraction protocol for various platforms and biological systems, for both polar and non-polar metabolites. Here we report an approach utilizing chemoinformatics for systematic comparison of protocols to extract both from a single sample of the model yeast organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Three chloroform/methanol/water partitioning based extraction protocols found in literature were evaluated for their effectiveness at reproducibly extracting both polar and non-polar metabolites. Fatty acid methyl esters and methoxyamine/trimethylsilyl derivatized aqueous compounds were analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry to evaluate non-polar or polar metabolite analysis. The comparative breadth and amount of recovered metabolites was evaluated using multivariate projection methods. This approach identified an optimal protocol consisting of 64 identified polar metabolites from 105 ion hits and 12 fatty acids recovered, and will potentially attenuate the error and variation associated with combining metabolite profiles from different samples for untargeted analysis with both polar and non-polar analytes. It also confirmed the value of using multivariate projection methods to compare established extraction protocols.
doi:10.3390/metabo3030592
PMCID: PMC3901283  PMID: 24958140
metabolite extraction; chloroform/methanol/water partitioning; GC-MS; fatty acid methyl esters; polar metabolites; PCA; OPLS; chemoinformatics
2.  The Yeast Oxysterol Binding Protein Kes1 Maintains Sphingolipid Levels 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60485.
The oxysterol binding protein family are amphitropic proteins that bind oxysterols, sterols, and possibly phosphoinositides, in a conserved binding pocket. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae oxysterol binding protein family member Kes1 (also known as Osh4) also binds phosphoinositides on a distinct surface of the protein from the conserved binding pocket. In this study, we determine that the oxysterol binding protein family member Kes1 is required to maintain the ratio of complex sphingolipids and levels of ceramide, sphingosine-phosphate and sphingosine. This inability to maintain normal sphingolipid homeostasis resulted in misdistribution of Pma1, a protein that requires normal sphingolipid synthesis to occur to partition into membrane rafts at the Golgi for its trafficking to the plasma membrane.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060485
PMCID: PMC3617146  PMID: 23593226
3.  Glycerol-3-Phosphate Acyltransferases Gat1p and Gat2p Are Microsomal Phosphoproteins with Differential Contributions to Polarized Cell Growth▿ †  
Eukaryotic Cell  2009;8(8):1184-1196.
Glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) catalyzes the initial step in the synthesis of all glycerolipids. It is the committed and rate-limiting step and is redundant in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mammals, and plants. GPAT controls the formation of lipid intermediates that serve not only as precursors of more-complex lipids but also as intracellular signaling molecules. Saccharomyces cerevisiae possesses two GPATs, encoded by the GAT1 and GAT2 genes. Metabolic analysis of yeast lacking either GAT1 or GAT2 indicated partitioning of the two main branches of phospholipid synthesis at the initial and rate-limiting GPAT step. We are particularly interested in identifying molecular determinants mediating lipid metabolic pathway partitioning; therefore, as a starting point, we have performed a detailed study of Gat1p and Gat2p cellular localization. We have compared Gat1p and Gat2p localization by fluorescence microscopy and subcellular fractionation using equilibrium density gradients. Our results indicate Gat1p and Gat2p overlap mostly in their localization and are in fact microsomal GPATs, localized to both perinuclear and cortical endoplasmic reticula in actively proliferating cells. A more detailed analysis suggests a differential enrichment of Gat1p and Gat2p in distinct ER fractions. Furthermore, overexpression of these enzymes in the absence of endogenous GPATs induces proliferation of distinct ER arrays, differentially affecting cortical ER morphology and polarized cell growth. In addition, our studies also uncovered a dynamic posttranslational regulation of Gat1p and Gat2p and a compensation mechanism through phosphorylation that responds to a cellular GPAT imbalance.
doi:10.1128/EC.00085-09
PMCID: PMC2725570  PMID: 19525420

Results 1-3 (3)