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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011 Mar;399(7):2487-94. doi: 10.1007/s00216-010-4627-2. Epub 2011 Jan 8.

New CZE-DAD method for honeybee venom analysis and standardization of the product.

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Department of Inorganic & Analytical Chemistry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland.


The aim of this study was to develop a new precise and accurate CZE-DAD method for honeybee venom analysis using cytochrome c as an internal standard. The 64.5 cm total length, 56 cm effective length, 75 μm ID, and 360 μm OD uncoated fused-silica capillary was used. The samples were injected into the capillary under a 50-mbar pressure for 7 s. There were 15 kV of electric field across the capillary applied. The current intensity was 26 μA. The separation was carried out at 25 °C. The analysis was run with the normal electrode polarity. The following steps and parameters were taken into account for the validation of the developed method: selectivity, precision, accuracy, linearity, limit of detection and limit of quantitation. All steps of the validation procedure proved that the developed analytical procedure was suitable for its intended purpose. Possibly this was the first study in which several honeybee venom components were separated and five of them were identified by capillary zone electrophoresis. In addition, the developed method was applied for quantitative analysis of 38 honeybee venom samples. The content (relative to the dry venom mass) of analyzed peptides in honeybee venom samples collected in 2002-2007 was as follows: apamine from 0.93% to 4.34% (mean, 2.85 ± 0.79%); mast cell degranulating peptide (MCDP) from 1.46% to 4.37% (mean, 2.82 ± 0.64%); phospholipase A(2) from 7.41% to 20.25% (mean, 12.95 ± 3.09%); melittin from 25.40% to 60.27%, (mean, 45.91 ± 9.78%). The results were compared with the experimental data obtained for the same venom samples analyzed earlier by the HPLC method. It was stated that HPCE and HPLC data did not differ significantly and that the HPCE method was the alternative for the HPLC method. Moreover, using the results obtained principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to clarify the general distribution patterns or similarities of four major honeybee venom constituents collected from two different bee strains in various months and years. PCA has shown that the strain of bee appears to be the only criteria for bee venom sample classification. Strong correlations between apamine, MCDP, phospholipase A(2), and melittin were confirmed. These correlations have to be taken into account in the honeybee venom standardization. The developed method due to its simplicity can be easily automated and incorporated into routine operations both in the bee venom identification, quality control, and standardization of the product.

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