Informatics and computational strategies for the study of lipids
The ability to translate vast amounts of information, as obtained from lipidomic analysis, into the knowledge and understanding of biological phenomena is an important challenge faced by the lipidomics community. While many of the informatics and computational tools from other domains such as bioinformatics and metabolomics are also applicable to lipidomics data processing and analysis, new solutions and strategies are needed for the studies of lipidomes at the systems level. This is due to enormous functional and structural diversity of lipids as well as because of their complex regulation at multiple spatial and temporal scales. In order to better understand the lipidomes at the physiological level, lipids need to be modeled not only at the level of biological pathways but also at the level of the biophysical systems they are part of, such as cellular membranes or lipoprotein particles. Herein the current state, recent advances and new opportunities in the field of lipid bioinformatics are reviewed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Lipodomics and Imaging Mass Spectrometry. âº Many bioinformatics tools used in metabolomics are applicable to lipidomic data analysis. âº Regulation of lipid metabolism occurs at multiple spatial and temporal scales. âº New methods are needed for modeling of lipidomics data.