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Langmuir. 2013 Jun 25;29(25):8046-53. doi: 10.1021/la401125e. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Affinity mesh screen materials for selective extraction and analysis of antibiotics using transmission mode desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas 76019, USA.


The extraction of active compounds from natural sources has shown to be an effective approach to drug discovery. However, the isolation and identification of natural products from complex extracts can be an arduous task. A novel approach to drug discovery is presented through the use of polymer screens functionalized with an l-lysine-d-alanine-d-alanine (Kaa) peptide to create new affinity capture mesh screen materials. The Kaa sequence is a well-characterized specific binding site for antibiotics that inhibit cell wall synthesis in Gram-positive bacteria. The detailed synthesis and characterization of these novel screen materials are presented in this work. Polypropylene mesh screens were first coated with a poly(acrylic acid) film by pulsed plasma polymerization. The synthesized Kaa peptide was then covalently attached to carboxylic acid groups through a condensation reaction. An analysis of captured compounds was performed in a rapid fashion with transmission-mode desorption electrospray ionization (TM-DESI) mass spectrometry. A proof of principle was demonstrated to show the ability of the novel affinity capture materials to select for a macrocyclic antibiotic, vancomycin, over a negative control compound, spectinomycin. With further development, this method may provide a rapid screening technique for new antibacterial compounds, for example, those extracted from natural product sources having a limited supply. Here, we show that the screen can capture vancomycin preferentially over spectinomycin in a spiked extract of tea leaves.

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