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Amino acid analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography after derivatization with 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chloride : Literature overview and further study

Jámbor, A., Molnár-Perl, I.
Journal of chromatography 2009 v.1216 no.15 pp. 3064-3077
acetonitrile, acids, amino acid composition, cystine, derivatization, fluorescence, high performance liquid chromatography, histidine, pH, serine, solvents, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine
A literature overview is given of HPLC methods currently in use to determine amino acids as their 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl (FMOC) derivatives. On the basis of the detailed literature overview an exhaustive derivatization study was performed with 22 amino acids, applying photodiode array (DAD) and fluorescence (FL) detection simultaneously, in order to clear up the controversial points of FMOC derivatization. Model investigations have been carried out as a function of the reaction time and reaction conditions, such as the molar concentration of the reagent, the molar ratios of the reactants, the pH and the solvent composition of the reaction medium. Special emphasis was put (i) on the evaluation of the blank values of the reagents, as a function of the composition and that of the pH of the reaction medium, (ii) on the unambiguous quantitation of all amino acids, including the less reactive aspartic and glutamic acids, as well as on the formation and transformation of histidine and tyrosine, existing partly, as single (N-FMOC-histidine, N-FMOC-tyrosine), partly as double labeled species (N,NH-FMOC-histidine, N,O-FMOC-tyrosine). Reproducibilities of 22 amino acids, including both histidine and tyrosine derivatives, obtained under optimum derivatization conditions are presented (at 0.5mM FMOC concentration corresponding to the molar ratios of [FMOC]/[amino acids]T =5.5/1 (note: the superscript 'T' means the total of amino acids), with acetonitrile containing reagents, at pH 9, derivatization time=20min), and characterized with the relative standard deviation percentages of their responses (<=3.98%, RSD). Quantitation limit (LOQ) of amino acid FMOC derivatives proved to be 1pmol, except for serine, glycine, valine (2.5pmol), for cystine, N,NH-FMOC-histidine and for the total of N-FMOC-tyrosine and N,O-FMOC-tyrosine (5pmol) and for tryptophan (10pmol).