A novel method for prenylquinone profiling in plant tissues by ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
Plant Methods, BioMed Central, 2011/7/1/Article 23
BACKGROUND: Prenylquinones are key compounds of the thylakoid membranes in chloroplasts. To understand the mechanisms involved in the response of plants to changing conditions such as high light intensity, the comprehensive analysis of these apolar lipids is an essential but challenging step. Conventional methods are based on liquid chromatography coupled to ultraviolet and fluorescence detection of a single or limited number of prenylquinones at a time. Here we present an original and rapid approach using ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-APCI- QTOFMS) for the simultaneous profiling of eleven prenylquinones in plant tissues, including a-tocopherol, phylloquinone, plastochromanol-8 and plastoquinone-9. <br>RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Mass spectrometry and chromatography parameters were optimized using pure standards. Sample preparation time was kept to minimum and different extraction solvents were evaluated for yield, ability to maintain the redox state of prenylquinones, and compatibility with chromatography. In addition to precise absolute quantification of 5 prenyllipids for which standards were available, relative quantification of 6 other related compounds was possible thanks to the high identification power of QTOFMS. Prenylquinone levels were measured in leaves of <i>Arabidopsis</i> grown under normal and high light intensities. Quantitatively, the obtained results were consistent with those reported in various previous studies, demonstrating that this new method can profile the full range of prenylquinones in a very short time.<br>CONCLUSION: The new profiling method proves faster, more sensitive and can detect more prenylquinones than current methods based on measurements of selected compounds. It enables the extraction and analysis of twelve samples in only 1.5 h and may be applied to other plant species or cultivars.
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