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Enzyme Microb Technol. 2000 Jun 1;26(9-10):715-723.

Improved protocols for quantitative determination of metabolites from biological samples using high performance ionic-exchange chromatography with conductimetric and pulsed amperometric detection.

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Centre de Bioingenierie Gilbert Durand, UMR-CNRS 5504, UR-INRA 792, Département de Génie Biochimique, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, Complexe Scientifique de Rangueil, 31077 Cedex 04, Toulouse, France


Simple and reliable protocols are described for an extensive analysis of metabolites in extracts from different biological sources. The separation was performed by high performance ionic-exchange chromatography (HPIC) at alkaline pH using two types of chromatography columns and two detection methods. Organic acids and inorganic anions were separated on an ionPac AS11 column using a 0.5 to 35 mM Na0H gradient. Detection limits in the range of milligrams per liter were achieved by use of a conductivity detector equipped with an anion self-regenerating suppressor. Twelve phosphorylated compounds belonging to the glycolytic and the pentose phosphate pathways could be resolved on a CarboPac PA1 column using a Na0H/Na-acetate gradient. Quantification was achieved by pulsed amperometry with detection limits in the micromolar range. Cell extracts obtained by extraction in boiling buffered ethanol described previously could be directly injected onto HPIC columns for the separation of metabolites because the extraction procedure affected neither the retention time nor the stability of most of the metabolites, and yielded very clean chromatograms. These improved protocols were applied for a dynamic analysis of intracellular metabolites in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in response to a glucose pulse.


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