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Optimization of N-methyl-N-[tert-butyldimethylsilyl]trifluoroacetamide as a derivatization agent for determining isotopic enrichment of glycerol in very-low density lipoproteins.

Journal article
Authors Martin Adiels
Thomas Larsson
Pauline Sutton
Marja-Riitta Taskinen
Jan Borén
Barbara A Fielding
Published in Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM
Volume 24
Issue 5
Pages 586-592
ISSN 1097-0231
Publication year 2010
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 586-592
Language en
Subject categories Natural Sciences, Medical and Health Sciences


Stable isotope kinetic studies play an important role in the study of very-low density lipoprotein (VLDL) metabolism, including basic and clinical research. Today, [1,1,2,3,3-(2)H(5)]glycerol is the most cost-effective alternative to measure glycerol and triglyceride kinetics. Recycling of glycerol from glycolysis and gluconeogenesis may lead to incompletely labelled tracer molecules. Many existing methods for the measurement of glycerol isotopic enrichment involve the production of glycerol derivatives that result in fragmentation of the glycerol molecule after ionization. It would be favourable to measure the intact tracer molecule since incompletely labelled tracer molecules may be measured as fully labelled. The number of methods available to measure the intact tracer in biological samples is limited. The aim of this project was to develop a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method for glycerol enrichment that measures the intact glycerol backbone and is suitable for electron ionization (EI), which is widely available. A previously published method for N-methyl-N-[tert-butyldimethylsilyl]trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) derivatization was significantly improved; we produced a stable derivative and increased recovery 27-fold in standards. We used the optimized MTBSTFA method in VLDL-triglyceride and found that further modification was required to take matrix effects into account. We now have a robust method to measure glycerol isotopic enrichment by GC/EI-MS that can be used to rule out the known problem of tracer recycling in studies of VLDL kinetics. Copyright (c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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