Multifunctional ZrO2 nanoparticles and ZrO2-SiO2 nanorods for improved MALDI-MS analysis of cyclodextrins, peptides, and phosphoproteins

Kailasa, Suresh Kumar; Hui-Fen Wu
February 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Feb2010, Vol. 396 Issue 3, p1115
Academic Journal
Multifunctional ZrO2 nanoparticles (NPs) and ZrO2-SiO2 nanorods (NRs) have been successfully applied as the matrices for cyclodextrins and as affinity probes for enrichment of peptides (leucine-enkephalin, methionine-enkephalin and thiopeptide), phosphopeptides (from tryptic digestion products of β-casein) and phosphoproteins from complex samples (urine and milk) in atmospheric pressure matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) and MALDI time-of-flight (TOF) MS. The results show that the ZrO2 NPs and ZrO2-SiO2 NRs can interact with target molecules (cyclodextrins, peptides, and proteins), and the signal intensities of the analytes were significantly improved in MALDI-MS. The maximum signal intensities of the peptides were obtained at pH 4.5 using ZrO2 NPs and ZrO2-SiO2 NRs as affinity probes. The limits of detection of the peptides were found to be 75-105 fmol for atmospheric pressure MALDI-MS and those of the cyclodextrins and β-casein were found to be 7.5-20 and 115-125 fmol, respectively, for MALDI-TOF-MS. In addition, these nanomaterials can be applied as the matrices for the analysis of cyclodextrins in urine samples by MALDI-TOF-MS. ZrO2 NPs and ZrO2-SiO2 NRs efficiently served as electrostatic probes for peptide mixtures and milk proteins because 2–11 times signal enhancement can be achieved compared with use of conventional organic matrices. Moreover, we have successfully demonstrated that the ZrO2 NPs can be effectively applied for enrichment of phosphopeptides from tryptic digestion of β-casein. Comparing ZrO2 NPs with ZrO2-SiO2 NRs, we found that ZrO2 NPs exhibited better affinity towards phosphopeptides than ZrO2-SiO2 NRs. Furthermore, the ZrO2 and ZrO2-SiO2 nanomaterials could be used to concentrate trace amounts of peptides/proteins from aqueous solutions without tedious washing procedures. This approach is a simple, straightforward, separation-and washing-free approach for MALDI-MS analysis of cyclodextrins, peptides, proteins, and tryptic digestion products of phosphoproteins. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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