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A rapid single-phase extraction for polar staphylococcal lipids

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The lipid membrane is gaining appreciation as a critical factor in the emergence of antibiotic resistance, both for antibiotics that target lipid synthesis or the membrane directly and for cell-wall-targeting antibiotics. The methods used to study the emergence of antibiotic resistance in vitro can generate a large number of samples that may be low in volume and in cell density. As in eukaryotic/mammalian lipidomics, two-phase liquid-liquid extractions are the most commonly used approach to recover lipids from bacteria. The need to separate the lipid layer is cumbersome for high-throughput applications and can be a source of poor reproducibility or contaminant introduction. While several single-phase extractions have been proposed for serum, tissue, and eukaryotic cells, there have been far fewer efforts to adapt or develop such methods for bacteria lipidomics. Here, we describe a simple, single-phase lipid extraction method based on methanol, acetonitrile, and water—the MAW method. The merits of the MAW method are evaluated against the Bligh & Dyer (B&D) method for the recovery of the major membrane lipids (phosphatidylglycerols, diglycosyldiacylglycerols, and lysyl-phosphatidylglycerols) in the Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. We demonstrate that the MAW method achieves recoveries that are comparable to that of the B&D extraction (≥ 85% for PG 15:0/d7-18:1). The benefits of the MAW method enable the detection of lipids from lower amounts of bacteria than the B&D method (0.57 vs 0.74 McFarlands for PG 32:0, respectively) and is easily scaled down to microplate volumes to facilitate high-throughput studies of bacterial lipids.

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This work was supported by funds to K.M.H. from the University of Georgia Office of Research, the Office of the Provost, the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, and the Department of Chemistry. Additional financial support was provided to K.B. from the University of Georgia Graduate School Summer Research Grant program. The authors would like to thank Prof. Libin Xu and Prof. Brian Werth (University of Washington School of Pharmacy) for providing S. aureus strain JE2-Dap2.

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Correspondence to Kelly M. Hines.

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Published in the topical collection Young Investigators in (Bio-)Analytical Chemistry 2023 with guest editors Zhi-Yuan Gu, Beatriz Jurado-Sánchez, Thomas H. Linz, Leandro Wang Hantao, Nongnoot Wongkaew, and Peng Wu.

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Bimpeh, K., Hines, K.M. A rapid single-phase extraction for polar staphylococcal lipids. Anal Bioanal Chem 415, 4591–4602 (2023).

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