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Anal Chem. 2002 Dec 15;74(24):6224-9.

Pressure-assisted capillary electrophoresis electrospray ionization mass spectrometry for analysis of multivalent anions.

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Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0017, Japan.


We describe a method, based on pressure-assisted capillary electrophoresis coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PACE/ESI-MS), that allows the simultaneous and quantitative analysis of multivalent anions, such as citrate isomers, nucleotides, nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotides, and flavin adenine dinucleotide, and coenzyme A (CoA) compounds. Key to the analysis was using a noncharged polymer, poly(dimethylsiloxane), coated to the inner surface of the capillary to prevent anionic species from adsorbing onto the capillary wall. It was also necessary to drive a constant liquid flow toward the MS by applying air pressure to the inlet capillary during electrophoresis to maintain a conductive liquid junction between the capillary and the electrospray needle. Although theoretical plates were inferior to those obtained by CE/ESI-MS using a cationic polymer-coated capillary, the PACE/ESI-MS method improved reproducibility and sensitivity of these anions. Eighteen anions were separated by PACE and selectively detected by a quadrupole mass spectrometer with a sheath-flow electrospray ionization interface. The relative standard deviations (n = 6) of the method were better than 0.6% for migration times and between 1.4% and 6.2% for peak areas. The detection limits for these species were between 0.4 and 3.7 micromol/L with pressure injection of 50 mbar for 30 s (30 nL), that is, mass detection limits calculated in the range from 12 to 110 fmol at a signal-to-noise ratio of 3. The utility of the method was demonstrated by analysis of citrate isomers, nucleotides, dinucleotides, and CoA compounds extracted from Bacillus subtilis cells.

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