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Lipids get new comprehensive classification system

Bethesda, MD In response to the growing number of lipids expected to be discovered through lipidomics and in anticipation of the massive amounts of data that will be generated by the lipid community, an international group of scientists has developed a comprehensive classification, nomenclature, and chemical representation system for lipids. The details of the system appear in the May issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology journal.

The new system is part of an effort by the Lipid Metabolites and Pathways Strategy (LIPID MAPS) consortium to produce a detailed understanding of the structure and function of all the lipids within a cell. The consortium is a large collaborative effort led by the University of California, San Diego and funded by a $35 million "Glue Grant" from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The five-year grant involves more than 30 researchers at 18 universities, medical research institutes, and companies across the United States.

The Director of the LIPID MAPS initiative and senior author of the manuscript Dr. Edward A. Dennis, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego says: "The goals of the LIPID MAPS initiative are to characterize known lipids and identify new ones, to quantitate the temporal and spatial changes in lipids that occur with cellular metabolism, and to develop bioinformatics approaches that establish dynamic lipid networks. In order to coordinate their efforts with those of other groups, such as the Lipid Bank in Japan, the European Lipidomics Initiative, and the International Conference on the Biochemistry of Lipids based in Europe and to facilitate international collaboration, LIPID MAPS initiated the development of a comprehensive classification system for lipids suitable for databasing."

"The classification scheme was designed to be a broad-based scheme
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Contact: Nicole Kresge
nkresge@asbmb.org
301-634-7415
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
13-May-2005


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