Rapid identification of siderophores by combined thin-layer chromatography/matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2005; 19(5):711-20.RC
The investigation of a combined thin-layer chromatography/matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (TLC/MALDI-MS) method for the analysis of siderophores from microbial samples is described. The investigated siderophores were enterobactin, ferrioxamine B, ferrichrome, ferrirhodin, rhodotorulic acid and coprogen. Solid-phase extraction was employed to recover the siderophores from the microbial samples. After visualization of the spots via spraying with ferric chloride or chrome azurol sulfonate assay solution, the MALDI matrix was applied to the gel surface. Several TLC/MALDI experimental parameters were optimized, such as type and concentration of MALDI matrix, as well as the type and composition of solvent to facilitate analyte transport from the inside of the TLC gel to the surface. The impact of these parameters on sensitivity, precision and ion formation of the various siderophores was studied. The detection limits for the investigated siderophores were in the range 1-4 pmol. These values were about 4-24 times higher than the detection limits obtained directly from stainless steel MALDI targets. The differences were most likely due to incomplete transport of the 'trapped' analyte molecules from the deeper layers of the TLC gel to the surface and into the matrix layer. In addition, chromatographic band broadening spread the analyte further in TLC as compared with the steel plates, resulting in less analyte per surface area. The identification of the siderophores was aided by concurrently applying a Ga(III) nitrate solution to the TLC plate during the visualization step. The resulting formation of Ga(III) complexes lead to distinctive (69)Ga/(71)Ga isotope patterns in the mass spectra. The versatility of the TLC/MALDI-MS assay was demonstrated by using it to analyze siderophores in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa sample. An iron-binding compound was identified in the sample, namely pyochelin (2-(2-o-hydroxyphenyl-2-thiazolin-4-yl)-3-methylthiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid).