Shorthand notation for Sphingolipids (SP)

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Rules for the annotation

  • The sphingoid backbone is annotated by the number of hydroxyl groups in the sphingoid base (m for mono, d for di, t for tri) and separated by a slash from the number of carbons:number of double bonds of the N-linked fatty acid. Positions of hydroxyl groups and double bonds including geometry are indicated as described for fatty acyls (FA).
  • If the sphingoid base is not known the sum of sphingoid base and fatty acid is shown as number of carbons:number of double bonds. Calculations are based on the number of hydroxyl groups of the major sphingoid base for that organism (dihydroxy in mammals). When the number of hydroxyl groups is known it is shown in front of the number of carbons (hydroxyl group level, e for tetra).
  • For further characterization of N-linked fatty acids, rules as described in section 3 apply. A fatty acid that is ester-bound to a N-linked ω-OH fatty acid is shown in square brackets as [ωFA C-atoms:double bonds].
  • Sugar moieties:
    • The identity of sugar is not known:
      • Hex - Hexosyl
      • Hex2 - DiHexosyl
    • The identity of the sugar is proven experimentally :
      • Gal - Galactosyl
      • Glc – Glucosyl
      • Lac - Lactosyl

Lipid class abbreviations

  • Ceramide - Cer
  • Ceramide-1-phosphate - C1P
  • Sphingoid base - SPH
  • Sphingoid base-1-phosphate - S1P
  • Sphingomyelin - SM
  • Hexosylceramide - HexCer
  • Glucosylceramide - GlcCer
  • Galactosylceramide - GalCer
  • Dihexosylceramide – Hex2Cer
  • Lactosylceramide - LacCer


Bond type
Lipid class level mass$
Hydroxyl group level
Fatty acyl level
LIPID MAPS Sphingoid base/Fatty acyl structure level
Cer (537)
Cer 34:1
Cer d34:1
Cer d18:1/16:0
Cer d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)/16:0
Cer (539)
Cer 34:0
Cer d34:0
Cer d18:0/16:0
Cer d18:0 (1OH,3OH)/16:0
C1P (617)
C1P 34:1
C1P d34:1
C1P d18:1/16:0
C1P d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)/16:0
SM (702)
SM 34:1
SM d34:1
SM d18:1/16:0
SM d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)/16:0
SM (704)
SM 34:0
SM d34:0
SM d18:0/16:0
SM d18:0 (1OH,3OH)/16:0
SM (840)
SM 44:2
SM d44:2
SM d20:1/24:1
SM d20:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)/24:1(15Z)
HexCer (701)
HexCer 34:1
HexCer d34:1
HexCer d18:1/16:0
GlcCer d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)/16:0
HexCer (701)
HexCer 34:1
HexCer d34:1
HexCer d18:1/16:0
GalCer d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)/16:0
Hex2Cer (861)
Hex2Cer 34:1
Hex2Cer d34:1
Hex2Cer d18:1/16:0
LacCer d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)/16:0
Sphingoid base
Lipid class level mass$
Hydroxyl group level
LIPID MAPS Sphingoid base structure level
SPH (299)
SPH d18:1
SPH d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)
SPH (301)
SPH d18:0
SPH d18:0(1OH,3OH)
SPH (297)
SPH d18:2
SPH d18:2(4E,8E)(1OH,3OH)
SPH (317)
SPH t18:0
SPH t18:0(1OH,3OH,4OH)
SPH (327)
SPH d20:1
SPH d20:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)
S1P (379)
S1P d18:1
S1P d18:1(4E)(1OH,3OH)
S1P (381)
S1P d18:0
S1P d18:0(1OH,3OH)
SPH (271)
SPH m17:0
SPH m17:0(2OH)
SPH (285)
SPH m18:0
SPH m18:0(3OH)

$ m is the uncharged molecular mass
§ Annotation based on the assumption of a sphingoid base with two hydroxyl groups

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