Topic Editors

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University Hospital of Larissa, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, 22 Papakyriazi Street, 41222 Larissa, Greece

Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry Analysis in Biomedical Research and Clinical Laboratory

Abstract submission deadline
30 April 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
30 September 2024
Viewed by
11453

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is recognized that chromatography–mass spectrometry introduced a revolution in biomedical research, offering specificity and sensitivity superior to that of other analytical techniques. It is currently an intensively developing scientific field that comprises the development and application of new methods using state-of-the-art equipment. The present Topic aims to cover the latest research trends and achievements of chromatography–mass spectrometry in biomedical, clinical, and pharmacological research by highlighting novel applications and novel approaches in sample treatment and instrumental analysis. Researchers working on all aspects of basic research and applications in biomedical and clinical sciences are cordially invited to contribute a research or review article in this Topic.

Dr. Constantinos K. Zacharis
Dr. Andreas Tsakalof
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • chromatography–mass spectrometry in biomedical research
  • bioanalysis
  • biomarkers of disease
  • biomarkers of exposure
  • omics research: metabolomics, volatolomics, lipidomics, proteomics
  • drugs development
  • therapeutic drug monitoring
  • biosample preparation

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Analytica
analytica
- - 2020 15.6 Days CHF 1000 Submit
Journal of Clinical Medicine
jcm
3.9 5.4 2012 17.9 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Separations
separations
2.6 2.5 2014 13.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Biomolecules
biomolecules
5.5 8.3 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700 Submit
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.6 7.8 2000 16.3 Days CHF 2900 Submit

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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17 pages, 2119 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Analysis of Cenobamate and Concomitant Anti-Seizure Medications in Human Plasma via Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Molecules 2024, 29(4), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29040884 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 265
Abstract
Cenobamate (CNB) is a new anti-seizure medication (ASM) recently introduced in clinical practice after approval by the FDA and EMA for the add-on treatment of focal onset seizures in adult patients. Although its mechanism of action has not been fully understood, CNB showed [...] Read more.
Cenobamate (CNB) is a new anti-seizure medication (ASM) recently introduced in clinical practice after approval by the FDA and EMA for the add-on treatment of focal onset seizures in adult patients. Although its mechanism of action has not been fully understood, CNB showed promising clinical efficacy in patients treated with concomitant ASMs. The accessibility of CNB could pave a way for the treatment of refractory or drug-resistant epilepsies, which still affect at least one-third of the patients under pharmacological treatment. In this context, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) offers a massive opportunity for better management of epileptic patients, especially those undergoing combined therapy. Here, we describe the first fully validated ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS) method for the quantification of CNB and concomitant ASMs in human plasma, with samples extracted either manually or by means of a liquid handler. Our method was validated according to the most recent ICH International Guideline M10 for Bioanalytical Method Validation and Study Sample Analysis. The method proved to be selective for CNB and displayed a linear range from 0.8 to 80 mg/L; no matrix effect was found (98.2 ± 4.1%), while intra-day and inter-day accuracy and precision were within the acceptance range. Also, CNB short- and long-term stability in plasma under different conditions was assessed. Leftover human plasma samples were employed as study samples for method validation. Our method proved to be highly sensitive and selective to quantify CNB and concomitant ASMs in human plasma; therefore, this method can be employed for a routinely TDM-based approach to support physicians in the management of an epileptic patient. Full article
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12 pages, 2273 KiB  
Article
HPLC-MS/MS Analysis for Sphingosine 1-Phosphate after the Dephosphorylation by Hydrogen Fluoride
Separations 2024, 11(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/separations11010034 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 614
Abstract
Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a signaling lipid molecule involved in various cellular processes. It is important to develop a quantitative method for S1P to determine endogenous levels and to investigate its functions. As S1P is a tiny lipid component of most biological samples, [...] Read more.
Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a signaling lipid molecule involved in various cellular processes. It is important to develop a quantitative method for S1P to determine endogenous levels and to investigate its functions. As S1P is a tiny lipid component of most biological samples, highly sensitive analysis by LC-MS/MS is required. The main challenge in S1P analysis by chromatography is peak-broadening due to the presence of a polar phosphate and the fact that S1P is indeed a zwitterion itself. In this study, we used hydrogen fluoride (HF) to efficiently remove a phosphate and then analyzed the surrogate, sphingosine, as a sharp peak by LC-ESI-MS/MS. We optimized the dephosphorylation reaction in terms of temperature and reaction time. Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) for a dephosphorylated form of S1P and C17-S1P as an internal standard at m/z transition 300.4 > 282.4 (quantification ion), 300.4 > 262.4 (qualification ion), 286.3 > 268.2 (internal standard) was conducted. This method was validated by essential parameters such as specificity, linearity, range, LOQ, LOD, accuracy, precision, and repeatability. To confirm this new method, we quantified S1P levels in various serum products (100.0~284.4 nM). In the sample pretreatment conditions for extracting S1P, the concern about potential sphingosine contamination in serum was negligible. The dephosphorylation efficiency by this method was about two-fold higher than that of alkaline phosphatase (APase). To apply the method in vivo, we analyzed S1P in plasma and kidney tissues obtained from a chronic kidney disease (CKD) mouse model. S1P levels were increased only in CKD kidney tissue but not in plasma. In conclusion, by applying the dephosphorylation step with HF, we established a new, sensitive LC-MS/MS quantitative method for S1P that can be applied to biological samples. Full article
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22 pages, 10064 KiB  
Communication
The Mechanism of Hepatic Encephalopathy Induced by Thioacetamide Based on Metabolomics and Proteomics: A Preliminary Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(1), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25010284 - 24 Dec 2023
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a central nervous system dysfunction syndrome caused by acute and chronic liver failure or various portal systemic shunt disorders. HE arises from metabolic disorder and excludes other known types of encephalopathy. HE is a major cause of death in [...] Read more.
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a central nervous system dysfunction syndrome caused by acute and chronic liver failure or various portal systemic shunt disorders. HE arises from metabolic disorder and excludes other known types of encephalopathy. HE is a major cause of death in people with liver disease. Early diagnosis and timely treatment are key to improving HE prognosis. Herein, we established a model of HE and performed metabolomics to identify 50 significantly differential metabolites between the HE group and control group. The main metabolic pathways associated with these differential metabolites were the purine metabolism, pyrimidine metabolism, aminoacyl tRNA biosynthesis, and glucose metabolism. Through proteomics analysis, we identified 226 significantly differential proteins (52 up-regulated and 174 down-regulated). The main (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) enrichment pathways were the Staphylococcus aureus infection, vitamin digestion and absorption, and complement and coagulation cascades. Through the conjoint analysis of proteomics and metabolomics, the differentially present proteins and metabolites were found to be involved in vitamin digestion and absorption, and ferroptosis pathways. In HE, malondialdehyde was significantly elevated, but glutathione was significantly diminished, and the redox balance was destroyed, thus leading to changes in proteins’ levels associated with the ferroptosis pathway. In conclusion, this study preliminarily explored the molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying HE. Full article
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21 pages, 5889 KiB  
Article
Variations in O-Glycosylation Patterns Influence Viral Pathogenicity, Infectivity, and Transmissibility in SARS-CoV-2 Variants
Biomolecules 2023, 13(10), 1467; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13101467 - 29 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1520
Abstract
The highly glycosylated S protein plays a vital role in host cell invasion, making it the principal target for vaccine development. Differences in mutations observed on the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 variants may result in distinct glycosylation patterns, thus influencing immunological evasion, [...] Read more.
The highly glycosylated S protein plays a vital role in host cell invasion, making it the principal target for vaccine development. Differences in mutations observed on the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 variants may result in distinct glycosylation patterns, thus influencing immunological evasion, infectivity, and transmissibility. The glycans can mask key epitopes on the S1 protein and alter its structural conformation, allowing the virus to escape the immune system. Therefore, we comprehensively characterize O-glycosylation in eleven variants of SARS-CoV-2 S1 subunits to understand the differences observed in the biology of the variants. In-depth characterization was performed with a double digestion strategy and an efficient LC-MS/MS approach. We observed that O-glycosylation is highly conserved across all variants in the region between the NTD and RBD, whereas other domains and regions exhibit variation in O-glycosylation. Notably, omicron has the highest number of O-glycosylation sites on the S1 subunit. Also, omicron has the highest level of sialylation in the RBD and RBM functional motifs. Our findings may shed light on how differences in O-glycosylation impact viral pathogenicity in variants of SARS-CoV-2 and facilitate the development of a robust vaccine with high protective efficacy against the variants of concern. Full article
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26 pages, 5078 KiB  
Article
Cisplatin Dependent Secretion of Immunomodulatory High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) Protein from Lung Cancer Cells
Biomolecules 2023, 13(9), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13091335 - 31 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is secreted from activated immune cells, necrotic cells, and certain cancers. Previous studies have reported that different patterns of post-translational modification, particularly acetylation and oxidation, mediate HMGB1 release and confer distinct extracellular HMGB1 signaling activity. Here we [...] Read more.
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is secreted from activated immune cells, necrotic cells, and certain cancers. Previous studies have reported that different patterns of post-translational modification, particularly acetylation and oxidation, mediate HMGB1 release and confer distinct extracellular HMGB1 signaling activity. Here we report that cisplatin but not carboplatin induces secretion of HMGB1 from human A549 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Cisplatin-mediated HMGB1 secretion was dose-dependent and was regulated by nuclear exportin 1 (XPO1) also known as chromosomal maintenance 1 (CRM1) rather than adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosylation, acetylation, or oxidation. HMGB1, as well as lysine acetylation and cysteine disulfide oxidation of secreted HMGB1, were monitored by sensitive and specific assays using immunoprecipitation, stable isotope dilution, differential alkylation, and nano liquid chromatography parallel reaction monitoring/high-resolution mass spectrometry (nano-LC-PRM/HRMS). A major fraction of the HMGB1 secreted by low-dose cisplatin treatment of A549 NSCLC cells was found to be in the fully reduced form. In contrast, mainly oxidized forms of HMGB1 were secreted by dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-mediated apoptosis. These findings suggest that inhibition of XPO1 could potentiate the anti-tumor activity of cisplatin by increasing the nuclear accumulation of HMGB1 protein, an inhibitor of cisplatin DNA-adduct repair. Furthermore, low-dose cisplatin therapy could modulate the immune response in NSCLC through the established chemokine activity of extracellular reduced HMGB1. This could potentially enhance the efficacy of subsequent immunotherapy treatment. Full article
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13 pages, 1439 KiB  
Article
Development and Validation of a New LC-MS/MS Bioanalytical Method for the Simultaneous Determination of Levodopa, Levodopa Methyl Ester, and Carbidopa in Human Plasma Samples
Molecules 2023, 28(11), 4264; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28114264 - 23 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1671
Abstract
Levodopa (L-DOPA) treatment, combined with the administration of dopa-decarboxylase inhibitors (DDCIs), is still the most effective symptomatic treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although its efficacy in the early stage of the disease has been confirmed, its complex pharmacokinetics (PK) increases the variability of [...] Read more.
Levodopa (L-DOPA) treatment, combined with the administration of dopa-decarboxylase inhibitors (DDCIs), is still the most effective symptomatic treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although its efficacy in the early stage of the disease has been confirmed, its complex pharmacokinetics (PK) increases the variability of the intra-individual motor response, thus amplifying the risk of motor/non-motor fluctuations and dyskinesia. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that L-DOPA PK is strongly influenced by several clinical, therapeutic, and lifestyle variables (e.g., dietary proteins). L-DOPA therapeutic monitoring is therefore crucial to provide personalized therapy, hence improving drug efficacy and safety. To this aim, we have developed and validated an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method to quantify L-DOPA, levodopa methyl ester (LDME), and the DDCI carbidopa in human plasma. The compounds were extracted by protein precipitation and samples were analyzed with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. The method showed good selectivity and specificity for all compounds. No carryover was observed, and dilution integrity was demonstrated. No matrix effect could be retrieved; intra-day and inter-day precision and accuracy values met the acceptance criteria. Reinjection reproducibility was assessed. The described method was successfully applied to a 45-year-old male patient to compare the pharmacokinetic behavior of an L-DOPA-based medical treatment involving commercially available Mucuna pruriens extracts and an LDME/carbidopa (100/25 mg) formulation. Full article
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11 pages, 1309 KiB  
Article
Development of a Highly Sensitive Hybrid LC/MS Assay for the Quantitative Measurement of CTLA-4 in Human T Cells
Molecules 2023, 28(8), 3311; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28083311 - 08 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1610
Abstract
Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) is a check point protein expressed on the surface of T cells and plays a central role in regulating the immune response. In recent years, CTLA-4 has become a popular target for cancer immunotherapy in which blocking CTLA-4 [...] Read more.
Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) is a check point protein expressed on the surface of T cells and plays a central role in regulating the immune response. In recent years, CTLA-4 has become a popular target for cancer immunotherapy in which blocking CTLA-4 can restore T-cell function and enhance the immune response against cancer. Currently, there are many CTLA-4 inhibitors in a variety of modalities, including cell therapies, which are being developed in both preclinical and clinical stages to further harness the potential of the target for the treatment of certain types of cancer. In drug discovery research, measuring the level of CTLA-4 in T cells is important for drug discovery and development because it provides key information for quantitative assessment of the pharmacodynamics, efficacy, and safety of the CTLA-4-based therapies. However, to our best knowledge, there is still no report of a sensitive, specific, accurate, and reliable assay for CTLA-4 measurement. In this work, an LC/MS-based method was developed to measure CTLA-4 in human T cells. The assay demonstrated high specificity with an LLOQ of 5 copies of CTLA-4 per cell when using 2.5 million T cells for analysis. As shown in the work, the assay was successfully used to measure CTLA-4 levels in subtype T-cell samples from individual healthy subjects. The assay could be applied in supporting the studies of CTLA-4-based cancer therapies. Full article
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21 pages, 5552 KiB  
Article
Stability Determination of Intact Humanin-G with Characterizations of Oxidation and Dimerization Patterns
Biomolecules 2023, 13(3), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13030515 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1104
Abstract
Humanin is the first identified mitochondrial-derived peptide. Humanin-G (HNG) is a variant of Humanin that has significantly higher cytoprotective properties. Here, we describe the stability features of HNG in different conditions and characterize HNG degradation, oxidation, and dimerization patterns over short-term and long-term [...] Read more.
Humanin is the first identified mitochondrial-derived peptide. Humanin-G (HNG) is a variant of Humanin that has significantly higher cytoprotective properties. Here, we describe the stability features of HNG in different conditions and characterize HNG degradation, oxidation, and dimerization patterns over short-term and long-term periods. HNG solutions were prepared in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) water or MO formulation and stored at either 4 °C or 37 °C. Stored HNG samples were analyzed using HPLC and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Using HPLC, full-length HNG peptides in HPLC water decreased significantly with time and higher temperature, while HNG in MO formulation remained stable up to 95% at 4 °C on day 28. HNG peptides in HPLC water, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and MO formulation were incubated at 37 °C and analyzed at day 1, day 7 and day 14 using HRMS. Concentrations of full-length HNG peptide in HPLC water and PBS declined over time with a corresponding appearance of new peaks that increased over time. These new peaks were identified to be singly oxidized HNG, doubly oxidized HNG, homodimerized HNG, singly oxidized homodimerized HNG, and doubly oxidized homodimerized HNG. Our results may help researchers improve the experimental design to further understand the critical role of HNG in human diseases. Full article
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15 pages, 1008 KiB  
Article
Clinical Evaluation Based on a New Approach to Improve the Accuracy of 4β-Hydroxycholesterol Measurement as a Biomarker of CYP3A4 Activity
Molecules 2023, 28(4), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28041576 - 07 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1432
Abstract
This study examines 4β-Hydroxycholesterol (4β-HC), which is considered to be a potential marker for the CYP3A4 induction of new chemical entities (NCEs) in drug development. To ensure the use of 4β-HC as a practical biomarker, it is necessary to accurately measure 4β-HC and [...] Read more.
This study examines 4β-Hydroxycholesterol (4β-HC), which is considered to be a potential marker for the CYP3A4 induction of new chemical entities (NCEs) in drug development. To ensure the use of 4β-HC as a practical biomarker, it is necessary to accurately measure 4β-HC and demonstrate that CYP3A4 induction can be appropriately assessed, even for weak inducers. In clinical trials of NCEs, plasma is often collected with various anticoagulants, in some cases, the plasma is acidified, then stored for an extended period. In this study, we examined the effects of these manipulations on the measurement of 4β-HC, and based on the results, we optimized the plasma collection and storage protocols. We also found that a cholesterol oxidation product is formed when plasma is stored, and by monitoring the compound, we were able to identify when plasma was stored inappropriately. After evaluating the above, clinical drug–drug interaction (DDI) studies were conducted using two NCEs (novel retinoid-related orphan receptor γ antagonists). The weak CYP3A4 induction by the NCEs (which were determined based on a slight decline in the systemic exposure of a probe substrate (midazolam)), was detected by the significant increase in 4β-HC levels (more specifically, 4β-HC/total cholesterol ratios). Our new approach, based on monitoring a cholesterol oxidation product to identify plasma that is stored inappropriately, allowed for the accurate measurement of 4β-HC, and thus, it enabled the evaluation of weak CYP3A4 inducers in clinical studies without using a probe substrate. Full article
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