LION/web: A web-based ontology enrichment tool for lipidomic data analysis

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Abstract

Background: A major challenge for lipidomic analyses is the handling of the large amounts of data and the translation of results to interpret the involvement of lipids in biological systems. Results: We built a new lipid ontology (LION) that associates >50,000 lipid species to biophysical, chemical, and cell biological features. By making use of enrichment algorithms, we used LION to develop a web-based interface (LION/web, www.lipidontology.com) that allows identification of lipid-Associated terms in lipidomes. LION/web was validated by analyzing a lipidomic dataset derived from well-characterized sub-cellular fractions of RAW 264.7 macrophages. Comparison of isolated plasma membranes with the microsomal fraction showed a significant enrichment of relevant LION-Terms including "plasma membrane", "headgroup with negative charge", "glycerophosphoserines", "above average bilayer thickness", and "below average lateral diffusion". A second validation was performed by analyzing the membrane fluidity of Chinese hamster ovary cells incubated with arachidonic acid. An increase in membrane fluidity was observed both experimentally by using pyrene decanoic acid and by using LION/web, showing significant enrichment of terms associated with high membrane fluidity ("above average", "very high", and "high lateral diffusion" and "below average transition temperature"). Conclusions: The results demonstrate the functionality of LION/web, which is freely accessible in a platform-independent way.

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Molenaar, M. R., Jeucken, A., Wassenaar, T. A., Van De Lest, C. H. A., Brouwers, J. F., & Helms, J. B. (2019). LION/web: A web-based ontology enrichment tool for lipidomic data analysis. GigaScience, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giz061

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