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In-Sample Calibration Curve Using Multiple Isotopologue Reaction Monitoring of a Stable Isotopically Labeled Analyte for Instant LC-MS/MS Bioanalysis and Quantitative Proteomics

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posted on 07.01.2019, 00:00 by Huidong Gu, Yue Zhao, Marissa DeMichele, Naiyu Zheng, Yan J. Zhang, Renuka Pillutla, Jianing Zeng
A novel methodology of in-sample calibration curves (ISCC) using multiple isotopologue reaction monitoring (MIRM) of multiple naturally occurring isotopologue transitions of a stable isotopically labeled (SIL) analyte for instant liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) bioanalysis of biomarkers, biotherapeutics, and small-molecule compounds is proposed and demonstrated for the first time. The theoretical isotopic abundances of the SIL analyte in its MIRM channels can be accurately calculated based on the isotopic distributions of its daughter ion and neutral loss. The isotopic abundances in these MIRM channels can also be accurately measured with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. By spiking a known amount of a SIL analyte into each study sample, an ISCC can be established based on the relationship between the calculated theoretical isotopic abundances (analyte concentration equivalents) in the selected MIRM channels of the SIL analyte and the measured MS/MS peak areas in the corresponding MIRM channels in each individual study sample. The analyte concentration of each study sample can then be calculated individually with the ISCC instantly without using an external calibration curve. The MIRM–ISCC–LC-MS/MS methodology was evaluated and demonstrated in this work with the examples of quantitation of a protein biomarker in human and monkey serum processed with immunocapture and trypsin digestion; three surrogate peptides in trypsin-digested human colon tissue homogenates; and a small-molecule drug in human and rat plasma extracted with liquid–liquid extraction. The potential applications of the MIRM–ISCC–LC-MS/MS methodology in quantitative proteomics, clinical laboratories, and other areas are also discussed in this paper. Without the need for using external calibration curves, this novel MIRM–ISCC–LC-MS/MS methodology can provide accurate and reliable bioanalysis in many potential applications, especially for cases where authentic matrices for external calibration curves are not available.

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