Study of fatty acid profiles in cancer cells grown in culture using gas chromatography - Mass spectrometry

Sima Pazouki, J. O. Baty, Heather M. Wallace, Catherine S. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The determination of long-chain fatty acids in the phospholipid, triglyceride and free fatty acid fractions of HT29/219 colon cancer cells grown in a medium containing either foetal calf serum or horse serum, was carried out using gas chromatography - mass spectrometry. Several bonded-phase capillary columns were tested for the separation of the fatty acid methyl esters, and a 30-m poly(ethylene glycol) column was found to give optimum separation. The mass spectrometer was set to the multiple ion detection mode to increase the sensitivity of the recording of the characteristic ions, consisting of the molecular ion and the base peak. The phospholipid and triglyceride compositions of the cells were different when the cells were grown in media containing different sera. Differences were also found in the turnover of the acids in the different lipid fractions, the phospholipids being the most important, when the cells were grown in different media. The cellular metabolism and turnover of certain fatty acids differed from others in the same cell. These differences emphasise the importance of a precise knowledge of the lipid composition of the culture medium in in vitro studies of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-519
Number of pages3
JournalThe Analyst
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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