Cancer cells modify the balance between fatty acid (FA) synthesis and uptake under metabolic stress, induced by oxygen/nutrient deprivation. These modifications were shown to alter the levels of individual triglyceride (TG) or phospholipid sub-species. To attain a holistic overview of the lipidomic profiles of cancer cells under stress we performed a broad lipidomic assay, comprising 244 lipids from six major classes. This assay allowed us to perform robust analyses and assess the changes in averages of broader lipid-classes, stratified on the basis of saturation index of their fatty-acyl side chains. Global lipidomic profiling using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry was performed to assess lipidomic profiles of biologically diverse cancer cell lines cultivated under metabolically stressed conditions. Neutral lipid compositions were markedly modified under serum-deprived conditions and, strikingly, the cellular level of triglyceride subspecies decreased with increasing number of double bonds in their fatty acyl chains. In contrast and unexpectedly, no robust changes were observed in lipidomic profiles of hypoxic (2% O2) cancer cells despite concurrent changes in proliferation rates and metabolic gene expression. Serum-deprivation significantly affects lipidomic profiles of cancer cells. Although, the levels of individual lipid moieties alter under hypoxia (2% O2), the robust averages of broader lipid classes remain unchanged.
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