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Anal Biochem. 1999 May 1;269(2):317-25.

Characterization of pyrroloquinoline quinone amino acid derivatives by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and detection in human milk.

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Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, California 95616-8669, USA.


We describe a HPLC method coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI/MS) for quantification and identification of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) and condensation products formed upon incubation of PQQ with amino acids (IPQ; imidazolopyrroloquinoline and I/OPQ/R; imidazolopyrroloquinoline with attached R-group). More importantly, using these methods we demonstrate the presence of both PQQ and IPQ in human milk in nanomolar to micromolar concentrations. PQQ was incubated with amino acids and condensation products were separated by HPLC. Fractions corresponding to each product were collected and molecular masses were determined using ESI/MS. Ala, Asp, Arg, Cys, Gly, Glu, Ser, Thr, Trp, and Tyr form IPQ upon incubation with PQQ. Yields of IPQ were low (<5%) for Asp and Glu, yet high (>60%) for Thr. In addition to IPQ, Ala, Arg, Cys, Ser, Trp, and Tyr formed IPQ/R derivatives. His, Ile, Leu, Glu, Leu, Lys, Met, and Phe form only IPQ/R derivatives. Proline did not react with PQQ. Mass spectra indicate that PQQ forms stable hydrated carbonyls and decarboxylates easily. Although mass spectra were complicated by the oxidation state of the quinone and decarboxylation of PQQ, these methods are invaluable for the rapid detection of the full range of PQQ adducts in biological matrices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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