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EPOR-Based Purification and Analysis of Erythropoietin Mimetic Peptides from Human Urine by Cys-Specific Cleavage and LC/MS/MS.

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2015-07-01)
Matthias Vogel, Andreas Thomas, Wilhelm Schänzer, Mario Thevis
ABSTRACT

The development of a new class of erythropoietin mimetic agents (EMA) for treating anemic conditions has been initiated with the discovery of oligopeptides capable of dimerizing the erythropoietin (EPO) receptor and thus stimulating erythropoiesis. The most promising amino acid sequences have been mounted on various different polymeric structures or carrier molecules to obtain highly active EPO-like drugs exhibiting beneficial and desirable pharmacokinetic profiles. Concomitant with creating new therapeutic options, erythropoietin mimetic peptide (EMP)-based drug candidates represent means to artificially enhance endurance performance and necessitate coverage by sports drug testing methods. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop a strategy for the comprehensive detection of EMPs in doping controls, which can be used complementary to existing protocols. Three model EMPs were used to provide proof-of-concept data. Following EPO receptor-facilitated purification of target analytes from human urine, the common presence of the cysteine-flanked core structure of EMPs was exploited to generate diagnostic peptides with the aid of a nonenzymatic cleavage procedure. Sensitive detection was accomplished by targeted-SIM/data-dependent MS(2) analysis. Method characterization was conducted for the EMP-based drug peginesatide concerning specificity, linearity, precision, recovery, stability, ion suppression/enhancement, and limit of detection (LOD, 0.25 ng/mL). Additionally, first data for the identification of the erythropoietin mimetic peptides EMP1 and BB68 were generated, demonstrating the multi-analyte testing capability of the presented approach.

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