Lipidomics needs more standardization

Modern mass spectrometric technologies provide quantitative readouts for a wide variety of lipid specimens. However, many studies do not report absolute lipid concentrations and differ vastly in methodologies, workflows and data presentation. Therefore, we encourage researchers to engage with the Lipidomics Standards Initiative to develop common standards for minimum acceptable data quality and reporting for lipidomics data, to take lipidomics research to the next level.

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Fig. 1: Analytical challenges in lipidomics workflows.


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Work in Swansea was supported by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, grant number BB/N015932/1). Work in Dortmund was supported by the Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin - inkl. Wissenschaft und Forschung and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (de.NBI program code 031L0108A). Work in Regensburg was supported by the European Union’s FP7 programme MyNewGut (grant agreement 613979) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, LI 923/4-1). Work in Pardubice was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (18-12204S). Work in Japan was supported by MEXT KAKENHI (15H05897) and the NBDC Integration Project. Work in Graz was supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research grant BMWFW-10.420/0005-WF/V/3c/2017. Work in Australia was supported by the Australia Research Council (DP150101715 and DP190101486). Work in Odense was supported by the VILLUM Foundation (VKR023439 and VKR023179). Work in Singapore was supported by grants from the National University of Singapore via the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) and the National Research Foundation (NRFI2015-05 and NRFSBP-P4).

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G.L. and K.E. prepared the manuscript and developed the online tool. J.A.B., W.J.G., R.A., T.W.M., Masanori Arita, Makoto Arita, M.R.W., C.S.E., H.K. and M.H. discussed and contributed to the manuscript and content of the online tool. All authors annotated data and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Gerhard Liebisch or Kim Ekroos.

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Competing interests

K.E. is the owner of Lipidomics Consulting Ltd. The other authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Lipidomics Standards Initiative Consortium., Liebisch, G., Ahrends, R. et al. Lipidomics needs more standardization. Nat Metab 1, 745–747 (2019).

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