Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 23(8), 949 (2007).

Selective Determination of Tryptophan-containing Peptides through Precolumn Derivatization and Liquid Chromatography Using Intramolecular Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Detection
Makoto YOSHITAKE, Naoko SEJIMA, Hideyuki YOSHIDA, Kenichiro TODOROKI, Hitoshi NOHTA, and Masatoshi YAMAGUCHI
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka University, Nanakuma, Johnan, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan
A selective and sensitive fluorometric determination method for native fluorescent peptides has been developed. This method is based on intramolecular fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) detection in a liquid chromatography (LC) system following precolumn derivatization of the amino groups of tryptophan (Trp)-containing peptides. In this detection process, we monitored the FRET from the native fluorescent Trp moieties (donor) to the derivatized fluorophore (acceptor). From a screening study involving 10 fluorescent reagents, we found that o-phthalaldehyde (OPA) generated FRET most effectively. The OPA derivatives of the native fluorescent peptides emitted OPA fluorescence (445 nm) through an intramolecular FRET process when they were excited at the excitation maximum wavelength of the Trp-containing peptides (280 nm). The generation of FRET was confirmed through comparison with the analysis of a non-fluorescent peptide (C-reactive protein fragment (77 - 82)) performed using LC and a three-dimensional fluorescence detection system. We were able to separate the OPA derivatives of the Trp-containing peptides when performing LC on a reversed-phase column. The detection limits (signal-to-noise ratio = 3) for the Trp-containing peptides, at a 20-µL injection volume, were 41 - 180 fmol. The sensitivity of the intramolecular FRET-forming derivatization method is higher than that of the system that takes advantage of the conventional detection of OPA derivatives. Moreover, native non-fluorescent amines and peptides in the sample monitored at FRET detection are weaker than those of conventional fluorescence detection.