Analysis of lipids using 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone as a matrix for MALDI mass spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2007 Apr 15;79(8):3206-13. doi: 10.1021/ac062236c. Epub 2007 Mar 17.


Lipids exhibit a broad range of chemical properties that make their analysis quite demanding. Today, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) represents a versatile tool in the field of lipid analysis, also offering the possibility for molecular structural identification using novel MALDI tandem time-of-flight (TOF/TOF) instrumentation. In this study, we evaluated 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone (THAP) for the analysis of various lipid classes including neutral storage lipids (triacylglycerols), polar membrane lipids (glycerophospho- and sphingolipids), and glycosphingolipids. THAP proved to be a versatile matrix for the routine analysis of various lipids from biological samples ("lipidomics"). A sample preparation methodology was established using selective alkali salt doping for subsequent MS/MS experiments. Sodiated and lithiated molecules provided superior structural information on lipids (i.e., acyl group identification); thus, following this approach, both selective peak detection with high sensitivity and more reliable structural information were obtained simultaneously.

MeSH terms

  • Acetophenones / chemistry*
  • Cerebrosides / analysis
  • Cerebrosides / chemistry
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*


  • Acetophenones
  • Cerebrosides
  • Lipids
  • 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone