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J Chromatogr A. 2005 Sep 30;1089(1-2):158-69.

Alternative high-performance liquid chromatographic peptide separation and purification concept using a new mixed-mode reversed-phase/weak anion-exchange type stationary phase.

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  • 1Christian Doppler Laboratory for Molecular Recognition Materials, Institute of Analytical and Food Chemistry, University of Vienna, W√§hringerstrasse 38, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


This article describes a new complementary peptide separation and purification concept that makes use of a novel mixed-mode reversed-phase/weak anion-exchange (RP/WAX) type stationary phase. The RP/WAX is based on N-(10-undecenoyl)-3-aminoquinuclidine selector, which is covalently immobilized on thiol-modified silica particles (5 microm, 100 A pore diameter) by radical addition reaction. Remaining thiol groups are capped by radical addition with 1-hexene. This newly developed separation material contains two distinct binding domains in a single chromatographic interactive ligand: a lipophilic alkyl chain for hydrophobic interactions with lipophilic moieties of the solute, such as in the reversed-phase chromatography, and a cationic site for anion-exchange chromatography with oppositely charged solutes, which also enables repulsive ionic interactions with positively charged functional groups, leading to ion-exclusion phenomena. The beneficial effect that may result from the combination of the two chromatographic modes is exemplified by the application of this new separation material for the chromatographic separation of the N- and C-terminally protected tetrapeptide N-acetyl-Ile-Glu-Gly-Arg-p-nitroanilide from its side products. Mobile phase variables have been thoroughly investigated to optimize the separation and to get a deeper insight into the retention and separation mechanism, which turned out to be more complex than any of the individual chromatography modes alone. A significant anion-exchange retention contribution at optimal pH of 4.5 was found only for acetate but not for formate as counter-ion. In loadability studies using acetate, peptide masses up to 200 mg could be injected onto an analytical 250 mm x 4 mm i.d. RP/WAX column (5 microm) still without touching bands of major impurity and target peptide peaks. The corresponding loadability tests with formate allowed the injection of only 25% of this amount. The analysis of the purified peptide by capillary high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-UV and HPLC-ESI-MS employing RP-18 columns revealed that the known major impurities have all been removed by a single chromatographic step employing the RP/WAX stationary phase. The better selectivity and enhanced sample loading capacity in comparison to RP-HPLC resulted in an improved productivity of the new purification protocol. For example, the yield of pure peptide per chromatographic run on RP/WAX phase was by a factor of about 15 higher compared to the standard gradient elution RP-purification protocol.

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