Investigating the Uptake of Arsenate by Cells and its Effect on their Lipid Profile using Single Cell ICP-MS and Easy Ambient Sonic-Spray Ionization-MS.

Author(s) Mavrakis, E.; Mavroudakis, L.; Lydakis-Simantiris, N.; Pergantis, S.A.
Journal Anal Chem
Date Published 2019 Aug 06

The complementary use of single cell atomic mass spectrometry (MS) and ambient molecular MS allowed for the in-depth study of arsenate uptake by cells and of the effect this toxic metalloid species has on their lipid profile. Compared to conventional inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis, in which case hundreds of thousands of cells are digested and then analyzed, it is demonstrated that single cell (SC) ICP-MS provides uptake data that are potentially of greater biological relevance. This includes the arsenic mass distribution within the cell population, which fits to a log-normal probability function, the most frequently contained arsenic mass within the cells (1.5-1.8 fg As per cell), and the mean arsenic uptake value (ranging from 2.7 to 4.1 fg As per cell for the three arsenate incubation concentrations, that is, 15, 22.5, and 30 μg As per mL) derived from the log-normal arsenic mass distribution within the cell population. The SC approach also allows for differentiating the arsenic present in and/or adsorbed on the cells, from the arsenic present in the extracellular solution, in a single analysis. In a similar fashion, ambient molecular MS in the form of desorption easy ambient sonic spray ionization (EASI) -MS was used to rapidly profile cell membrane lipids from cells spotted directly on a glass slide. EASI-MS analysis revealed that cells grown in the presence of increasing concentrations of arsenate exhibited changes in the degree of saturation of their membrane lipids, as was observed by the increasing intensity ratio of lipids with less unsaturated acyl chains to the same type of lipids with more unsaturated fatty acid chains. Thus, indicating "homeoviscous adaptation" of extraplastidial and thylakoid cell membranes, induced by the presence of arsenate.

DOI 10.1021/acs.analchem.9b00917
ISSN 1520-6882
Citation Anal Chem. 2019;91(15):95909598.

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