Lipidomic profiling of plasma samples from patients with mitochondrial disease

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Jun 2;500(2):124-131. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.03.160. Epub 2018 Apr 12.


Mitochondrial disease (MD) is a rare mitochondrial respiratory chain disorder with a high mortality and extremely challenging to treat. Although genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses have been performed to investigate the pathogenesis of MD, the role of metabolomics in MD, particularly of lipidomics remains unclear. This study was undertaken to identify potential lipid biomarkers of MD. An untargeted lipidomic approach was used to compare the plasma lipid metabolites in 20 MD patients and 20 controls through Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry. Volcano plot analysis was performed to identify the different metabolites. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed and the area under the ROC curves (AUC) was calculated to determine the potentially sensitive and specific biomarkers. A total of 41 lipids were significantly different in MD patients and controls. ROC curve analysis showed the top 5 AUC values of lipids (phosphatidylinositols 38:6, lysoPC 20:0, 19:0, 18:0, 17:0) are more than 0.99. Multivariate ROC curve based exploratory analysis showed the AUC of combination of top 5 lipids is 1, indicating they may be potentially sensitive and specific biomarkers for MD. We propose combination of these lipid species may be more valuable in predicting the development and progression of MD, and this will have important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of MD.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Lipidomics; Mitochondrial disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Area Under Curve
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Metabolome
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Mitochondrial Diseases / blood*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • ROC Curve


  • Biomarkers
  • Lipids