Most naturally occurred fats contain a complex mixture of different individual triglycerides. A triglyceride (triacylglycerol, TAG) is an ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acid molecules. The simplest triglycerides are those where the three fatty acids are the same. The fatty acids that linked to glycerol may be 4-24 carbons long, but 16, 18, and 20 carbons are most predominant. The fatty acids can be either saturated or unsaturated. Natural fatty acids found in plants and animals are usually composed of only even numbers of carbon atoms, due to their biosynthesis from the two-carbon building-block acetyl CoA. Bacteria, however, have the capacity to synthesize odd- and branched-chain fatty acids. TAGs contribute to the major fuel storage and are the major dietary lipid in humans.

Triglyceride Analysis Service

Fig1. Example of a triglyceride (C55H98O6).

In the intestine, triglycerides are split into monoacylglycerol and free fatty acids during lipolysis. Liver is the main organ that synthesize and store triglycerides. When the body requires fatty acids as an energy source, the hormone glucagon will trigger the breakdown of triglycerides by hormone-sensitive lipase to release free fatty acids and provide energy to the body. Because the brain cannot utilize fatty acids directly, the glycerol part of triglycerides need to be converted into glucose via gluconeogenesis for brain fuel when it is broken down.

In humans, increased level of TAGs has been shown to be associated with a variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome. However, the exact negative effect of raised levels of TAGs is not very clear.

LC–MS platform enables detection of multiple TAGs in the TAG family. The results are widely used for investigating the relative changes in TAG concentrations, mechanistic studies and biomarker discovery. Creative Proteomics has established sensitive, reliable, and accurate LC–MS method for studying TAGs in a variety of samples.

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