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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Nov 1;298(2):658-66.

Analysis of the nucleoside moiety of cobalamin and cobalamin analogues using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262.


Existing techniques for identification of cobalamin and cobalamin analogues generally use the intact molecule during characterization with somewhat ambiguous results. In this study a method is described for the identification of the nucleoside in the lower axial ligand of cobalamin and a variety of naturally occurring cobalamin analogues that differ from cobalamin in the base that is present in the nucleoside. Cobalamin and cobalamin analogues were isolated from biological samples by affinity chromatography using R-protein-Sepharose columns. The nucleosides of the lower axial ligand were then hydrolyzed and isolated by column chromatography using a mixed bed column. Nucleosides were oxidized with periodate and reduced with borohydride. After reisolation, the t-butyldimethylsilyl derivatives were prepared and analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with selected ion monitoring. A stable isotope internal standard of cobalamin was biosynthetically produced and used to quantitate cobalamin in rabbit kidney. Cobalamin analogues were also shown to be present in rabbit kidney, but they contain the 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole nucleoside (alpha-ribazole) in the lower axial ligand, indicating that these analogues differ from cobalamin in the corrin ring region of the molecule.

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