Journal of Chromatography B (v.878, #11-12)

Quantification of endogenous steroids in human urine by gas chromatography mass spectrometry using a surrogate analyte approach by Reza Ahmadkhaniha; Abbas Shafiee; Noushin Rastkari; Mohammad Reza Khoshayand; Farzad Kobarfard (845-852).
Providing “real blank sample” is a problem in determination of endogenous steroids in complex matrices. A new quantification strategy is proposed in the present study, which is based on using isotope-labeled steroids instead of natural steroids for constructing calibration line. This approach is called surrogate analyte and it is shown that its accuracy is better than some of the previously described methods at low concentrations and comparable to standard addition method at medium and high concentration levels. The method was fully validated to satisfy the ICH criteria and it was applied for determination of endogenous steroids in several urine samples.
Keywords: Endogenous steroid; Surrogate analyte; Calibration curve; Urine; Gas chromatography mass spectrometry;

Digestive amylase of a primitive animal, the scorpion: Purification and biochemical characterization by Hanen Louati; Nacim Zouari; Ahmed Fendri; Youssef Gargouri (853-860).
Scorpion, one of the most ancient invertebrates was chosen, as a model of a primitive animal, to purify and characterize an amylase located in the hepatopancreas. The scorpion digestive amylase (SDA) was purified. Pure SDA was obtained after heat treatment followed by ammonium sulfate fractionation and three steps of chromatography. The pure amylase is not glycosylated and has a molecular mass of 59,101 Da determined by MALDI-TOF MS analysis. The maximal amylase activity was measured at pH 7.0 and 50 °C, in the presence of Ca2+ and using potato starch as substrate. The enzyme was able to hydrolyze also, glycogen and amylose. The 23 NH2-terminal amino acid SDA residues were sequenced. The sequence obtained is similar to those of mammalian and avian pancreatic amylases. Nevertheless, polyclonal antibodies directed against SDA failed to recognize classical digestive amylases like the porcine pancreatic one.
Keywords: Scorpion; Hepatopancreas; Purification; α-Amylase; Maltose; Characterization;

Simultaneous analysis of isomers of escin saponins in human plasma by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry: Application to a pharmacokinetic study after oral administration by Xiujun Wu; Lidong Liu; Mengliang Zhang; Dan Wu; Yingwu Wang; Yantong Sun; J. Paul Fawcett; Jingkai Gu; Jiwen Zhang (861-867).
A rapid and sensitive bioassay based on liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) for the simultaneous determination of four isomeric escin saponins (escin Ia, escin Ib, isoescin Ia and isoescin Ib) in human plasma has been developed and validated. Sample preparation of plasma after addition of telmisartan as internal standard (I.S.) involved solid-phase extraction (SPE) on C18 cartridges. Separation was based on reversed phase chromatography using gradient elution with methanol–acetonitrile (50:50, v/v) and 10 mM ammonium acetate solution (pH 6.8). MS/MS detection in the positive ion mode used multiple reaction monitoring of the transition at m/z 1113.8 → 807.6. Stability issues with the four saponins required the addition of formic acid to plasma samples prior to storage at −80 °C and analysis within 30 days. The method was linear at concentrations up to 10 ng/mL with correlation coefficients > 0.996 for all analytes. The lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) for all four saponins was 33 pg/mL. Intra- and inter-day precisions (as relative standard deviation) were all <15% and accuracies (as relative error) in the range −5.3% to 6.1%. The method was successfully applied to a pharmacokinetic study of escins in healthy volunteers after oral administration of sodium aescinate tablets containing 60 mg escin saponins.
Keywords: Escin Ia; Escin Ib; Isoescin Ia; Isoescin Ib; LC–MS/MS; Pharmacokinetics;

Investigation of degradation processes in IgG1 monoclonal antibodies by limited proteolysis coupled with weak cation-exchange HPLC by Hollis Lau; Danielle Pace; Boxu Yan; Theresa McGrath; Scott Smallwood; Ketaki Patel; Jihea Park; SungAe S. Park; Ramil F. Latypov (868-876).
A new cation-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method that separates fragment antigen-binding (Fab) and fragment crystallizable (Fc) domains generated by the limited proteolysis of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) was developed. This assay has proven to be suitable for studying complex degradation processes involving various immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) molecules. Assignment of covalent degradations to specific regions of mAbs was facilitated by using Lys-C and papain to generate Fab and Fc fragments with unique, protease-dependent elution times. In particular, this method was useful for characterizing protein variants formed in the presence of salt under accelerated storage conditions. Two isoforms that accumulated during storage were readily identified as Fab-related species prior to mass-spectrometric analysis. Both showed reduced biological activity likely resulting from modifications within or in proximity of the complementarity-determining regions (CDRs). Utility of this assay was further illustrated in the work to characterize light-induced degradations in mAb formulations. In this case, a previously unknown Fab-related species which populated upon light exposure was observed. This species was well resolved from unmodified Fab, allowing for direct and high-purity fractionation. Mass-spectrometric analysis subsequently identified a histidine-related degradation product associated with the CDR2 of the heavy chain. In addition, the method was applied to assess the structural organization of a noncovalent IgG1 dimer. A new species corresponding to a Fab–Fab complex was found, implying that interactions between Fab domains were responsible for dimerization. Overall, the data presented demonstrate the suitability of this cation-exchange HPLC method for studying a wide range of covalent and noncovalent degradations in IgG1 mAbs.
Keywords: Monoclonal antibody; Antibody degradation; Antibody dimerization; Cation-exchange chromatography; Limited proteolysis; Mass spectrometry;

Identification and quantification of the glucose degradation product glucosone in peritoneal dialysis fluids by HPLC/DAD/MSMS by Stefan Mittelmaier; Michael Fünfrocken; Dominik Fenn; Thomas Fichert; Monika Pischetsrieder (877-882).
Glucose degradation products (GDPs) formed during heat sterilization of peritoneal dialysis (PD) fluids exert cytotoxic effects and promote the formation of advanced glycation end-products in the peritoneal cavity. As a result, long-term application of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis is limited. The composition and concentration of GDPs in PD fluids must be known to evaluate their biological effects. The present study describes a targeted screening for novel GDPs in PD fluids. For this purpose, dicarbonyl compounds were converted with o-phenylenediamine to give the respective quinoxaline derivatives, which were selectively monitored by HPLC/diode array detector. Glucosone was thereby identified as a novel major GDP in PD fluids. Product identity was confirmed by LC/MSMS analysis using independently synthesized glucosone as a reference compound. Furthermore, a method was developed to quantify glucosone in PD fluids by HPLC/UV after derivatization with o-phenylenediamine. The method's limit of detection was 0.6 μM and the limit of quantitation 1.1 μM. A linear calibration curve was obtained between 1.1 and 113.9 μM (R 2  = 0.9999). Analyzed at three different concentration levels, recovery varied between 95.6% and 102.0%. The coefficient of variation ranged between 0.4% and 4.7%. The method was then applied to the measurement of glucosone in typical PD fluids. Glucosone levels in double chamber bag PD fluids varied between not detectable and 6.7 μM. In single chamber bag fluids, glucosone levels ranged between 28.7 and 40.7 μM.
Keywords: [alpha]-Dicarbonyl compounds; Glucose degradation products (GDPs); Glucosone; HPLC; Peritoneal dialysis fluid; Quinoxaline derivatives;

Determination of metoclopramide in human plasma by LC–ESI-MS and its application to bioequivalance studies by Miao Yan; Huan-De Li; Ben-Mei Chen; Xiao-Lei Liu; Yun-Gui Zhu (883-887).
An LC–MS method for the determination of metoclopramide in human plasma was developed and validated. Sample preparation involved extraction with ethyl acetate. Chromatographic separation was performed on a Thermo Hypersil-Hypurity C18 (150 mm × 2.1 mm, 5 μm) with the mobile phase consisting of 40 mM ammonium acetate–methanol–acetonitrile. A single-quadrupole mass spectrometer with an electrospray interface was operated in the selected-ion monitoring mode to detect the [M+H]+ ions at m/z 300 for metoclopramide and at m/z 384 for the internal standard (prazosin). The method was validated over 0.78–50.00 ng mL−1 for metoclopramide. The recovery was 67.8–83.1%, and the limit of quantitation (LOQ) detection was 0.78 ng mL−1 for metoclopramide. The intra- and inter-day precision of the method at three concentrations was 5.0–13.6% with accuracy of 99.2–104.0%. Stability of compounds was established in a battery of stability studies. The method was successfully applied to bioequivalence studies of metoclopramide hydrochloride tablets to obtain the pharmacokinetic parameters.
Keywords: Liquid chromatography; Mass spectrometry; Metoclopramide; Prazosin; Bioequivalence;

Determination of alkylresorcinol metabolites in human urine by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry by Matti Marklund; Rikard Landberg; Per Åman; Afaf Kamal-Eldin (888-894).
Alkylresorcinols (ARs) are phenolic lipids present at high concentrations in the outer parts of rye and wheat kernels and have been proposed as biomarkers for intake of whole grain and bran products of these cereals. AR are absorbed in the small intestine and after hepatic metabolism two major metabolites, 3,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA) and 3-(3,5-dihydroxyphenyl)-1-propanoic acid (DHPPA), are excreted in urine either as such or as conjugates. Urine samples from nine individuals were incubated with different enzymes to assess type and extent of conjugates. In comparison with DHBA, which was mostly found in the free form, the less polar DHPPA was conjugated to a greater extent and the major conjugates were glucuronides. In this method, urine samples were hydrolyzed using β-glucuronidase from Helix pomatia and syringic acid was used as internal standard. Samples, silylated with BSTFA, were analyzed by GC–MS utilizing a BP-5 fused silica capillary column and single ion monitoring of molecular ions (m/z 370 [DHBA], m/z 398 [DHPPA]). Recoveries of DHBA and DHPPA were estimated to be 94% and 93%, respectively. The average intra-assay/inter-assay coefficients of variation were 4.9/5.7% for DHBA and 7.6/9.3% for DHPPA.
Keywords: Alkylresorcinols; Metabolites; Biomarker; Whole grain; GC–MS;

A sensitive and specific liquid chromatography electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry method for the simultaneous quantitation of nicotinic acid (NicA) and its metabolites nicotinamide (NA), 1-methylnicotinamide (MNA), 1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide (M2PY) and 1-methyl-4-pyridone-5-carboxamide (M4PY) in rat plasma has been developed and validated. As an internal standard, 6-chloronicotinamide was used. The samples (100 μL) were subjected to deproteinization with acetonitrile (200 μL) and then, after centrifugation, 150 μL of the supernatant was transferred into conical vial and evaporated. Dry residue was reconstituted in 100 μL of the ACN/water (10:90, v/v) mixture. Chromatography was performed on a Waters Spherisorb® 5 μm CNRP 4.6 × 150 mm analytical column with gradient elution using a mobile phase containing acetonitrile and water with 0.1% of formic acid. The full separation of all compounds was achieved within 15 min of analysis. Detection was performed by an Applied Biosystems MDS Sciex API 2000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer set at unit resolution. The mass spectrometer was operated in the selected reactions monitoring mode (SRM), monitoring the transition of the protonated molecular ions m/z 153–110 for M2PY, 153–136 for M4PY, 124–80 for NicA, 123–80 for NA and 137–94 for MNA. The mass spectrometric conditions were optimized for each compound by continuously infusing the standard solution at the rate of 5 μL/min using a Harvard infusion pump. Electrospray ionization (ESI) was used for ion production. The instrument was coupled to an Agilent 1100 LC system. The precision and accuracy for both intra- and inter-day determination of all analytes ranged from 1.3% to 13.3% and from 94.43% to 110.88%. No significant matrix effect (ME) was observed. Stability of compounds was established in a battery of stability studies, i.e. bench-top, autosampler and long-term storage stability as well as freeze/thaw cycles. The method proved to be suitable for various applications. In particular using this method we detected increased concentration of MNA and its metabolites in rat plasma after treatment with exogenous MNA (100 mg/kg), as well as increased concentration of endogenous NA and MNA in rat plasma in the early phase of hypertriglyceridemia development in rats fed high-fructose diet.
Keywords: Nicotinic acid; Metabolites; N-methylnicotinamide; LC/MS/MS; Rat; Plasma;

The measurement of ecstasy in human hair by triple phase directly suspended droplet microextraction prior to HPLC-DAD analysis by Zarrin Es’haghi; Maryam Mohtaji; Mahin Hasanzade-Meidani; Mahboubeh Masrournia (903-908).
New pre-concentration technique, triple phase suspended droplet microextraction (SD-LPME) and liquid chromatography-photodiode array detection was applied to determine ecstasy, MDMA (3,4-methylendioxy-N-methylamphetamine) in hair samples. In this research MDMA in hair was digested and after treatment extracted. The effective parameters were investigated and method was evaluated. Under the optimal conditions, the MDMA was enriched by factor 98.11. Linearity (r  = 0.9921), was obtained in the range of 10–15,000 ng mL−1 and detection limit was 0.1 ng mL−1.
Keywords: Hair; Ecstasy; Triple phase directly suspended droplet microextraction; HPLC-DAD;

The crude intracellular lipase (cell homogenate) from Trichosporon laibacchii was subjected to partial purification by aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) and then in situ immobilization by directly adding diatomites as carrier to the top PEG-rich phase of ATPS. A partition study of lipase in the ATPS formed by polyethylene glycol–potassium phosphate has been performed. The influence of system parameters such as molecular weight of PEG, system phase composition and system pH on the partitioning behaviour of lipase was evaluated. The ATPS consisting of PEG 4000 (12%) and potassium phosphate (K2HPO4, 13%) resulted in partition of lipase to the PEG-rich phase with partition coefficient 7.61, activity recovery 80.4%, and purification factor of 5.84 at pH of 7.0 and 2.0% NaCl. Moreover, the in situ immobilization of lipase in PEG phase resulted in a highest immobilized lipase activity of 1114.6 U g−1. The above results show that this novel lipase immobilization procedure which couples ATPS extract and enzyme immobilization is cost-effective as well as time-saving. It could be potentially useful technique for the purification and immobilization of lipase.
Keywords: Lipase; Trichosporon laibacchii; Aqueous two-phase system; Purification; Immobilization;