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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A fast, nondestructive purification scheme for prostaglandin H2 using a nonaqueous, bonded-phase high-performance liquid chromatography system.

Arachidonic acid metabolism produces several biologically important compounds including the leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Prostaglandin H2 (PGH2) is the first metabolite in the arachidonic acid cascade leading to all other prostaglandins. Pivotal to our understanding of PGH2's biology is the ability to separate it in pure form from the numerous other arachidonic acid metabolites produced in a biological milieu. The extensive literature on PGH2 biology and metabolism has relied almost exclusively on the traditional method of separation using gravity flow silicic acid columns. In our hands, such PGH2 preparations were found to contain varying amounts of 12-hydroxy-5,8,10-heptadecatrienoic acid (HHT), PGE2, PGF2 alpha and other minor impurities as determined by further chromatographic and mass spectral analyses. Analytical separation of PGH2 and other arachidonic acid metabolites has been accomplished using reversed-phase HPLC. However, the labile nature of this molecule in aqueous systems makes such techniques unacceptable for preparative isolation of high purity PGH2 and has necessitated the development of a totally nonaqueous separation. To this end, we attempted several stationary phases and found that the cyano-bonded phase showed the best selectivity for resolving PGH2 from its major contaminants. Separations were performed on self-packed columns using a hexane-isopropanol gradient. Peaks were detected both by liquid scintillation counting and uv spectrophotometry (214 nm). Structure assignments were made by chromatographic comparison with authentic standards (PGF2 alpha, PGE2), biological activity (PGH2--platelet aggregation), and by ammonia direct chemical ionization mass spectrometry (HHT, hydroxy-5,8,10,14-eicosatetraenoic acid, PGH2, PGE2, PGF2 alpha). The latter technique, which by its very nature volatilizes all organic material in the sample, was particularly useful in determining not only that the PGH2 preparations were free from the aforementioned side products, but that they were also free from lipid, protein, and other potential residues frequently found in biological preparations.[1]


  1. A fast, nondestructive purification scheme for prostaglandin H2 using a nonaqueous, bonded-phase high-performance liquid chromatography system. Zulak, I.M., Puttemans, M.L., Schilling, A.B., Hall, E.R., Venton, D.L. Anal. Biochem. (1986) [Pubmed]
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