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Journal of analytical toxicology

Development of a liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring procedure for concurrent verification of exposure to different forms of mustard agents.


PMID 18269793

Abstract

A novel liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring (LC-MRM) procedure has been developed for retrospective diagnosis of exposure to different forms of mustard agents. This concise method is able to validate prior exposure to nitrogen mustards (HN-1, HN-2, and HN-3) or sulfur mustard (HD) in a single run, which significantly reduces analysis time compared to separate runs to screen for different mustards' biomarkers based on tandem mass spectrometry. Belonging to one of the more toxic classes of chemical warfare agents, these potent vesicants bind covalently to the cysteine-34 residue of human serum albumin. This results in the formation of stable adducts whose identities were confirmed by a de novo sequencing bioinformatics software package. Our developed technique tracks these albumin-derived adduct biomarkers in blood samples which persist in vitro following exposure, enabling a detection limit of 200 nM of HN-1, 100 nM of HN-2, 200 nM of HN-3, or 50 nM of HD in human blood. The CWA-adducts formed in blood samples can be conveniently and sensitively analyzed by this MRM technique to allow rapid and reliable screening.

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