LIPID MAPS Structure Database (LMSD)

Introduction | Text/ontology-based search | Structure-based search | Programmatic Access


The LIPID MAPS Structure Database (LMSD) is a relational database encompassing structures and annotations of biologically relevant lipids. As of January 30th 2017, LMSD contains over 40,000 unique lipid structures, making it the largest public lipid-only database in the world. Structures of lipids in the database come from several sources: (i) LIPID MAPS Consortium's core laboratories and partners; (ii) lipids identified by LIPID MAPS experiments; (iii) biologically relevant lipids manually curated from LIPID BANK, LIPIDAT, Lipid Library, Cyberlipids, ChEBI and other public sources; (iv) novel lipids submitted to peer-reviewed journals; (v) computationally generated structures for appropriate classes.

All the lipid structures in LMSD adhere to the structure drawing rules proposed by the LIPID MAPS consortium. All lipids in the LMSD have been classified using the LIPID MAPS Lipid Classification System. Each lipid structure has been assigned a LIPID MAPS ID (LM_ID) which reflects its position in the classification hierarchy. In addition to a classification-based retrieval of lipids, users can search LMSD using either text-based or structure-based search options.

The text-based search implementation supports data retrieval by any combination of these data fields: LIPID MAPS ID, systematic or common name, mass, formula, category, main class, and subclass data fields. The structure-based search, in conjunction with optional data fields, provides the capability to perform a substructure search or exact match for the structure drawn by the user. Search results, in addition to structure and annotations, also include relevant links to external databases.


(as of 1/30/2017)

Number of lipids per category

Fatty acyls7010
Sterol lipids2835
Prenol lipids1256
TOTAL 40,673 structures


Sud M, Fahy E, Cotter D, Brown A, Dennis EA, Glass CK, Merrill AH Jr, Murphy RC, Raetz CR, Russell DW, Subramaniam S. LMSD: LIPID MAPS structure database Nucleic Acids Research 35: p. D527-32. PMID:17098933 [doi:10.1093/nar/gkl838] PMID: 17098933

Fahy E, Sud M, Cotter D & Subramaniam S. LIPID MAPS online tools for lipid research Nucleic Acids Research (2007) 35: p. W606-12.PMID:17584797 [doi:10.1093/nar/gkm324] PMID: 17584797
logo LIPID MAPS is funded by a Wellcome Trust.