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4-Plex Chemical Labeling Strategy Based on Cinchona Alkaloid-Derived Primary Amines for the Analysis of Chiral Carboxylic Acids by Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry.

Analytical chemistry (2019-08-10)
Jie Zheng, Shu-Jian Zheng, Chu-Bo Qi, Dong-Mei Wu, Yu-Qi Feng
ABSTRACT

Chiral carboxylic acids play important roles in energy metabolism and signal transduction in the human body. These enantiomers usually possess different bioactivities and are also associated with the development of some diseases. Therefore, simultaneous determination of multiple chiral carboxylic acids is vital for study of the pathogenesis of related diseases. However, it is still challenging to simultaneously detect the enantiomers of multiple chiral carboxylic acids in biological samples. Here, we developed a novel 4-plex chemical labeling strategy based on 4 analogues of cinchona alkaloid-derived primary amines (CAPAs) for simultaneous determination of 16 enantiomers of 8 chiral carboxylic acids by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). To achieve high-throughput analysis, one CAPA analogue was used to label chiral carboxylic acid standards and served as internal standards (ISs), while the other 3 CAPA analogues were used to label endogenous chiral carboxylic acids in 3 different biological samples. After CAPAs labeling, the 16 chiral carboxylic acid enantiomers could be detected by LC-MS, and their detection sensitivity was greatly enhanced by up to 3 orders of magnitude compared to intact analytes. Further, the developed method for the determination of 16 chiral carboxylic acid enantiomers was validated in human serums and mammalian cells. Finally, the proposed method was applied to the determination of chiral carboxylic acids in the serum samples from type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. We found that 5 chiral carboxylic acid enantiomers in T2DM serum samples and 4 chiral carboxylic acid enantiomers in CRC serum samples exhibited significant change compared to the healthy control (HC).