- Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are lipid molecules linked to carbohydrate units that form the plasma membrane lipid raft, which is clustered with sphingolipids, sterols, and specific proteins, and thereby contributes to membrane physical properties and specific recognition sites for various biological events. These bioactive GSL molecules consequently affect the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of various diseases. Thus, altered expression of GSLs in various diseases may be of importance for disease-related biomarker discovery.
- Sulfatides are found in brain as components of myelin, oligodendrocytes, and neurons but are also present in various visceral tissues. Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is an inherited lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of arylsulfatase A, leading to severe white matter disease due to the accumulation of sulfatides and lysosulfatides. To study the physiological role of sulfatides, accessible and sensitive quantitative methods are required. We developed a sensitive LC/MS/MS method to quantify total sulfatide and lysosulfatide content as well as individual molecular species in urine and plasma from MLD patients and plasma and tissues from an MLD mouse model.