Document Detail

Analysis of underivatized amino acids in geological samples using ion-pairing liquid chromatography and electrospray tandem mass spectrometry.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18393689     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The capability of detecting biomarkers, such as amino acids, in chemically complex field samples is essential to establishing the knowledge required to search for chemical signatures of life in future planetary explorations. However, due to the complexities of in situ investigations, it is important to establish a new analytical scheme that utilizes a minimal amount of sample preparation. This paper reports the feasibility of a novel and sensitive technique, which has been established to quantitate amino acids in terrestrial crust samples directly without derivatization using volatile ion-pairing liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry equipped with an electrospray ionization source. Adequate separation of 20 underivatized amino acids was achieved on a C(18) capillary column within 26 min with nonafluoropentanoic acid (NFPA) as ion-pairing reagent. Each amino acid was identified from its retention time as well as from its characteristic parent-to-daughter ion transition. Using tandem mass spectrometry as a detection technique allows co-elution of some amino acids, as it is more specific than traditional spectrophotometric methods. In the present study, terrestrial samples collected from 3 different locations were analyzed for their water-extractable free amino acid contents, following the removal of metal and organic interferences via ion exchange procedures. This is the first time that amino acids in geological samples were directly determined quantitatively without complicated derivatization steps. Depending on the amino acid, the detection limits varied from 0.02 to 5.7 pmol with the use of a 1 microl sample injection loop.
De-Ling Liu; Luther W Beegle; Isik Kanik
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Astrobiology     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1531-1074     ISO Abbreviation:  Astrobiology     Publication Date:  2008 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-04-08     Completed Date:  2008-06-18     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101088083     Medline TA:  Astrobiology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  229-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91109, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Amino Acids / analysis*,  chemistry
Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
Feasibility Studies
Geological Phenomena
Laboratory Techniques and Procedures
Sensitivity and Specificity
Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Amino Acids

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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