Determination of Sub-Nanomolar Levels of Low Molecular Mass Thiols in Natural Waters by Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry after Derivatization with p‑(Hydroxymercuri) Benzoate and Online Preconcentration
2015 (English)In: Analytical Chemistry, ISSN 0003-2700, E-ISSN 1520-6882, Vol. 87, no 2, 1089-1096 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Low molecular mass (LMM) thiols is a diverse group of compounds, which play several important roles in aquatic ecosystems, even though they typically occur at low concentrations. Comprehensive studies of LMM thiols in natural waters have so far been hampered by selectivity and limit of detection constraints of previous analytical methods. Here, we describe a selective and robust method for the quantification of 16 LMM thiols in natural waters. Thiols were derivatized with 4-(hydroxymercuri)benzoate (PHMB) and preconcentrated online by solid-phase extraction (SPE) before separation by liquid chromatography and determination by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Their quantification was performed by selective reaction monitoring (SRM), while the presence of a product ion atm/z 355, specific for thiols and common for the investigated compounds, also allows to screen samples for unknown thiols by a precursor ion scan approach. The robustness of the method was validated for aqueous matrices with different pH, sulfide, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. The limits of detection for the thiols were in the sub-nanomolar range (0.06–0.5 nM) and the methodology allowed determination of both reduced and total thiol concentrations (using tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine (TCEP) as reducing agent). Six thiols (mercaptoacetic acid, cysteine, homocysteine, N-acetyl-cysteine, mercaptoethane-sulfonate, and glutathione) were detected with total concentrations of 7–153 nM in boreal lake or wetland pore waters while four thiols (mercaptoacetic acid, cysteine, homocysteine, and N-acetyl-cysteine) were detected in their reduced form at concentrations of 5–80 nM.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Chemical Society (ACS), 2015. Vol. 87, no 2, 1089-1096 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100354DOI: 10.1021/ac503679yISI: 000348332300037OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-100354DiVA: diva2:791685