Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other oxidative agents such as free radicals can oxidize polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) as well as PUFA in lipids. The oxidation products can undergo consecutive reactions including oxidative cleavages to yield a chemically diverse group of products, such as lipid peroxidation products (LPP). Among them are aldehydes and ketones (“reactive carbonyls”) that are strong electrophiles and thus can readily react with nucleophilic side chains of proteins, which can alter the protein structure, function, cellular distribution, and antigenicity. Here, we report a novel technique to specifically derivatize both low molecular and high molecular weight carbonylated LPP with 7-(diethylamino)coumarin-3-carbohydrazide (CHH) and analyze all compounds by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) in positive ion mode. CHH-derivatized compounds were identified by specific neutral losses or fragment ions. The fragment ion spectra displayed additional signals that allowed unambiguous identification of the lipid, fatty acids, cleavage sites, and oxidative modifications. Oxidation of docosahexaenoic (DHA, 22:6), arachidonic (AA, 20:4), linoleic (LA, 18:2), and oleic acids (OA, 18:1) yielded 69 aliphatic carbonyls, whose structures were all deduced from the tandem mass spectra. When four phosphatidylcholine (PC) vesicles containing the aforementioned unsaturated fatty acids were oxidized, we were able to deduce the structures of 122 carbonylated compounds from the tandem mass spectra of a single shotgun analysis acquired within 15 min. The high sensitivity (LOD ∼ 1 nmol/L for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, HNE) and a linear range of more than 3 orders of magnitude (10 nmol/L to 10 μmol/L for HNE) will allow further studies on complex biological samples including plasma.
Milic, I., Hoffmann, R., & Fedorova, M. (2013). Simultaneous detection of low and high molecular weight carbonylated compounds derived from lipid peroxidation by electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 85(1), 156-162. https://doi.org/10.1021/ac302356z