Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 28(6), 607 (2012).

Real-time ESI-MS of Enzymatic Conversion: Impact of Organic Solvents and Multiplexing
Romy K. SCHEERLE,* Johanna GRASSMANN,* and Thomas LETZEL**
*Analytical Research Group, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Steig 23, 85354 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
**Competence Pool Weihenstephan, associated with Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Steig 23, 85354 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
Different enzymatic assays were characterized systematically by real-time electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) in the presence of organic solvents as well as in multiplex approaches and in a combination of both. Typically, biological enzymatic reactions are studied in aqueous solutions, since most enzymes show their full activity solely in aqueous solutions. However, in recent years, the use of organic solvents in combination with enzymatic reactions has gained increasing interest due to biotechnological advantages in chemical synthesis, development of online coupled setups screening for enzyme regulatory compounds, advantages regarding mass spectrometric detection and others. In the current study, the influence of several common organic solvents (methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetone, acetonitrile) on enzymatic activity (hen egg white lysozyme, chitinase, α-chymotrypsin, elastase from human neutrophils and porcine pancreas, acetylcholinesterase) was tested. Moreover, multiplexing is a promising approach enabling fast and cost-efficient screening methods, e.g. for determination of inhibitors in complex mixtures or in the field of biomedical research. Although in multiplexed setups the enzymatic activity may be affected by the presence of other substrates and/or enzymes, the expected advantages possibly will predominate. To investigate those effects, we measured multiple enzymatic assays simultaneously. For all conducted measurements, the conversion rate of the substrate(s) was calculated, which reflects the enzymatic activity. The results provide an overview about the susceptibility of the selected enzymes towards diverse factors and a reference point for many applications in analytical chemistry and biotechnology.