Multiplex tandem mass spectrometry analysis of novel plasma lyso-Gb₃-related analogues in Fabry disease

Anal Chem. 2014 Apr 1;86(7):3476-83. doi: 10.1021/ac404000d. Epub 2014 Mar 17.


Fabry disease is a multisystemic, X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficit in α-galactosidase A enzyme activity leading to glycosphingolipid accumulation, mainly globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) and globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3). Recent metabolomic studies have led to the discovery of novel biomarkers related to lyso-Gb3 in plasma and urine. These biomarkers show modifications of the sphingosine moiety of the lyso-Gb3 molecule. The objectives of this study were to develop and validate a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the relative quantification of novel plasma lyso-Gb3-related analogues, to evaluate their levels in plasma of 74 Fabry patients and 41 healthy controls and to correlate these results with patient gender, enzyme replacement therapy treatment, and lyso-Gb3 analogue levels previously measured in urine for the same patients. As expected, the concentrations of lyso-Gb3 and its related analogues in plasma are higher in Fabry males compared to Fabry females and higher for untreated males compared to treated males. The concentration of lyso-Gb3 and its related analogues in plasma decrease significantly after the beginning of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) treatment and remain stable for 30 months of monitored therapy in a Fabry male. In plasma, lyso-Gb3 is significantly more abundant than its related analogues, which differs from urine where the majority of the lyso-Gb3 analogues are more increased than lyso-Gb3 itself. In contrast to urine, the relative distribution of lyso-Gb3 and its analogues in plasma is similar from one individual to another in the same group of Fabry patients, irrespective of ERT. This study revealed a large discrepancy between the relative abundance of lyso-Gb3 and its analogues in urine and plasma. Further studies will thus be needed to better understand the metabolic relationship between plasma and urine lyso-Gb3-related biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Fabry Disease / blood*
  • Glycolipids / blood*
  • Glycolipids / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Sphingolipids / blood*
  • Sphingolipids / chemistry
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Glycolipids
  • Sphingolipids
  • globotriaosyl lysosphingolipid