Study of a new derivatizing reagent that improves the analysis of amino acids by HPLC with fluorescence detection: application to hydrolyzed rape bee pollen

Jinmao You; Lingjun Liu; Wenchen Zhao; Xianen Zhao; Yourui Suo; Honglun Wang; Yulin Li
April 2007
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Apr2007, Vol. 387 Issue 8, p2705
Academic Journal
A simple and sensitive method for evaluating the chemical compositions of protein amino acids, including cystine (Cys)2 and tryptophane (Try) has been developed, based on the use of a sensitive labeling reagent 2-(11 H-benzo[α]-carbazol-11-yl) ethyl chloroformate (BCEC–Cl) along with fluorescence detection. The chromophore of the 1,2-benzo-3,4-dihydrocarbazole-ethyl chloroformate (BCEOC-Cl) molecule was replaced with the 2-(11 H-benzo[α]-carbazol-11-yl) ethyl functional group, yielding the sensitive fluorescence molecule BCEC–Cl. The new reagent BCEC–Cl could then be substituted for labeling reagents commonly used in amino acid derivatization. The BCEC–amino acid derivatives exhibited very high detection sensitivities, particularly in the cases of (Cys)2 and Try, which cannot be determined using traditional labeling reagents such as 9-fluorenyl methylchloroformate (FMOC-Cl) and ortho-phthaldialdehyde (OPA). The fluorescence detection intensities for the BCEC derivatives were compared to those obtained when using FMOC-Cl and BCEOC-Cl as labeling reagents. The ratios I BCEC/ I BCEOC = 1.17–3.57, I BCEC/ I FMOC = 1.13–8.21, and UVBCEC/UVBCEOC = 1.67–4.90 (where I is the fluorescence intensity and UV is the ultraviolet absorbance). Derivative separation was optimized on a Hypersil BDS C18 column. The detection limits calculated from 1.0 pmol injections, at a signal-to-noise ratio of 3, ranged from 7.2 fmol for Try to 8.4 fmol for (Cys)2. Excellent linear responses were observed, with coefficients of >0.9994. When coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography, the method established here allowed the development of a highly sensitive and specific method for the quantitative analysis of trace levels of amino acids including (Cys)2 and Try from bee-collected pollen (bee pollen) samples.


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