Journal of chromatography. A

Enantiomeric separation and discrimination of 2-hydroxy acids as O-trifluoroacetylated (S)-(+)-3-methyl-2-butyl esters by achiral dual-capillary column gas chromatography.

PMID 10768503


An efficient method is described for the simultaneous enantiomeric separation of 18 different racemic 2-hydroxy acids for the determination of their absolute configurations. It involves the conversion of each enantiomer into a diastereomeric O-trifluoroacetylated (S)-(+)-3-methyl-2-butyl ester for the direct separation by achiral dual-capillary column gas chromatography with subsequent identification and determination of its chirality by retention index (I) library matching. The enantiomers of each acid were well separated with high resolution values (R > or = 1.4) on DB-5 and DB-17 columns of different polarity. When temperature-programmed I values of 2-hydroxy acid enantiomers as their diastereomeric derivatives were measured on both columns, the I values were characteristic of each enantiomer. Simple I matching with the reference values was thus useful in cross-checking each acid enantiomer for the identification and chiral discrimination. When applied to urine samples, the present method allowed positive identification of most of the spiked 2-hydroxy acids from normal urine and for endogenous (S)-lactic acid and (S)-2-hydroxybutyric acid from a clinical urine specimen.