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Title: Applications of Mass Spectrometry in Proteomics and Pharmacokinetics
Tutor: Gasparrini, Francesco
Keywords: Mass Spectrometry
Issue Date: 6-Nov-2008
Abstract: Tremendous technology improvements of the last decades has given mass spectrometry a more and more expanding role in the study of a wide range of molecules: from the identification and quantification of small molecular weight molecules to the structural determination of biomacromolecules. Many are the fields of application for this technique and the various versions of it. In the present study three different applications have been explored. The first application is a pharmacokinetics study of anticancer drug Gemcitabine and its principal metabolite, where the role of the LC-MS/MS is essential both for the selectivity of the detection of the small analytes and the sensitivity enhanced by multi-reaction monitoring experiments. The design of the study involved the collection of several blood samples at selected times and from patients that would have met certain eligibility criteria. The ESI demonstrated to be the most suitable approach and it provided the necessary data to conclude that toxicity of Gemcitabine did not increase when administered at FDR (Fixed Dose Rate) infusion in patients with impaired hepatic function. The second application describes an example of how MS represents a powerful tool in cancer research, from serum profiling study with high resolution MALDITOF and bioinformatic analysis, to the identification of potential biomarker through peak identification. Almost 400 serum sample – homogeneously distributed between biopsy confirmed ovarian cancer and high risk serum samples – were analyzed on a high resolution MALDI-TOF instrument after automated reverse phase magnetic beads separation. The high throughput data have undergone sophisticated bioinformatic procedures that lead to a list of upand down-regulated peaks, although identification studies were possible only for those peaks that showed a good reproducibility. One down-regolated peak has been identified using the LC-MS/MS technique. The identified peak confirmed a basic role of fibrinogen in the ovarian cancer; the other four peaks that have been identified as down-regulated showed an absolutely not satisfactory ionization in electro-spray, therefore further analysis will be performed on these analytes in order to determinate their amino acidic sequence. The most suitable technique seems to be MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry, since the peptides already showed a good degree of ionization in MALDI. The third and last study belongs to a quite new field, which is the combination of immuno precipitation assays with MALDI-TOF (Immuno Precipitation Mass Spectrometry, IPMS) experiments in order to evaluate the specificity of a series of monoclonal antibodies to specific antigen. The automated assay that has been developed provides structural information about the antigen that binds the monoclonal antibody to be tested and previously conjugated to the surface of magnetic beads, ideal support for robotic automation. IPMS showed its potential as a complementary tool of crucial importance in the selection of the monoclonal antibody for the development of ELISA based assay to be applied in the screening of a consistent number of human specimens for the clinical validation of proteins indicated in literature as potential biomarkers. Mass spectrometry in association with fractionation techniques, such as liquid or magnetic beads chromatography, is a very flexible tool in the cancer research field. Further improvement in the instrumentation and in the technology will bring always more and more results to be confident in.
Description: Thesis submitted for the degree of Philosophiæ Doctor Faculty of Pharmacy Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy 2008
Research interests: Proteomics, Small malecules, pharmacokinetics
Skills short description: Extensive experience in robotics, in particular with Hamilton Star Analytical Techniques: High Performance Liquid Chromatography, HPLC; Mass Spectrometry (ESI, MALDI-TOF, MALDI imaging) Fourier- Transform Infrared Spectrometry, FT-IR Gas Chromatography, GC HPLC-MS and HPLC-MS/MS HPLC-UV-MS GC-MS
Personal skills keywords: MALDI-TOF Mass spectrometry
ESI Mass Spectrometry

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