Application of screening experimental designs to assess chromatographic isotope effect upon isotope-coded derivatization for quantitative liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

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Isotope effect may cause partial chromatographic separation of labeled (heavy) and unlabeled (light) isotopologue pairs. Together with a simultaneous matrix effect, this could lead to unacceptable accuracy in quantitative liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry assays, especially when electrospray ionization is used. Four biologically relevant reactive aldehydes (acrolein, malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, and 4-oxo-2-nonenal) were derivatized with light or heavy (d3-, 13C6-, 15N2-, or 15N4-labeled) 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine and used as model compounds to evaluate chromatographic isotope effects. For comprehensive assessment of retention time differences between light/heavy pairs under various gradient reversed-phase liquid chromatography conditions, major chromatographic parameters (stationary phase, mobile phase pH, temperature, organic solvent, and gradient slope) and different isotope labelings were addressed by multiple-factor screening using experimental designs that included both asymmetrical (Addelman) and Plackett-Burman schemes followed by statistical evaluations. Results confirmed that the most effective approach to avoid chromatographic isotope effect is the use of 15N or 13C labeling instead of deuterium labeling, while chromatographic parameters had no general influence. Comparison of the alternate isotope-coded derivatization assay (AIDA) using deuterium versus 15N labeling gave unacceptable differences (>15%) upon quantifying some of the model aldehydes from biological matrixes. On the basis of our results, we recommend the modification of the AIDA protocol by replacing d 3-2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine with 15N- or 13C-labeled derivatizing reagent to avoid possible unfavorable consequences of chromatographic isotope effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7033-7040
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2014


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