We present a method for the systematic identification of picogram quantities of new lipids in total extracts of tissues and fluids. It relies on the modularity of lipid structures and applies all-ions fragmentation LC-MS/MS and Arcadiate software to recognize individual modules originating from the same lipid precursor of known or assumed structure. In this way it alleviates the need to recognize and fragment very low abundant precursors of novel molecules in complex lipid extracts. In a single analysis of rat kidney extract the method identified 58 known and discovered 74 novel endogenous endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related molecules, including a novel class of N-acylaspartates that inhibit Hedgehog signaling while having no impact on endocannabinoid receptors.
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