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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2011 Dec 15;879(32):3797-801. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.10.016. Epub 2011 Oct 22.

Determination of free desmosine and isodesmosine as urinary biomarkers of lung disorder using ultra performance liquid chromatography-ion mobility-mass spectrometry.

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Centre for Analytical Science, Department of Chemistry, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK.


The elastin degradation products, desmosine (DES) and isodesmosine (IDES) are highly stable, cross-linking amino-acids that are unique to mature elastin. The excretion of DES/IDES in urine, in the free form and with associated peptide fragments, provides an indicator of lung damage in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A quantitative ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) method has been developed for the analysis of free DES/IDES in urine with deuterated IDES as an internal standard. Resolution of DES/IDES isomers was achieved in less than five minutes using ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) combined with ion pairing. The optimized UPLC-IM-MS method provided a linear dynamic range of 10-300 ng/mL and a limit of quantitation of 0.028 ng/mL for IDES and 0.03 ng/mL for DES (0.55 ng and 0.61 ng on column respectively). The method reproducibility (%RSD) was <4% for DES and IDES. The UPLC-IM-MS method was applied to the analysis of urine samples obtained from healthy volunteers and COPD patients. The DES/IDES concentrations in healthy and COPD urine showed an increase in DES (79%) and IDES (74%) in the COPD samples, relative to healthy controls. The incorporation of an IM separation prior to m/z measurement by MS was shown to reduce non-target ion responses from the bio-fluid matrix.

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