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Title: Enhancing nucleic acid detection using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, by means of metal and nano-particle labelling
Author: Kerr, Samantha Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 5276
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2008
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The application of ICP-MS to the fields of proteomics and genomics has arisen in part due to its ability to detect and quantify trace levels of S and P, which are major constituents in proteins and nucleic acids respectively. The development of collision/reaction cell technology and high resolution instruments has enabled these biologically important elements to be measured and quantified at the pg - ng ml-1 level. Despite these advances, the detection limits of P and S are still inferior compared to other elements. Oligonucleotides containing biotin functionality were labelled with Au nano-particles attached to a streptavidin protein to achieve site specific labelling, with 100% labelling efficiency. Each nano-particle contained ~86 Au atoms, resulting in an 882 fold signal enhancement for 24 base length oligonucleotides. However, this enhancement factor was only observed when one oligonucleotide bound to one nano-particle in a 1:1 ratio. Much lower Au labelling efficiencies and signal enhancements were observed when thiolated oligonucleotides were labelled with maleimide functionalised gold nano-particles. This was attributed to the extensive and difficult sample preparation steps that were required prior to labelling. The detection and quantification of adducts formed between DNA and the Pt anti-cancer drugs cisplatin and oxaliplatin were also investigated with ICP-MS. Acid digestion of the carbon based DNA matrix enabled Pt adducts to be quantified at low dose rates of 1 Pt atom per 1 500 000 nucleotides in ~12 μg DNA. Such sensitive mass spectrometric determinations could be employed in clinical tests to detect and quantify low level adducts formed in patients in-vivo. To complement ICP-MS analysis, electrospray ionisation linear ion trap mass spectrometry was employed to study the interaction of oxaliplatin with the four DNA nucleobases. Multiple stage mass spectrometry enabled detailed Pt-nucleobase adduct fragmentation pathways to be established. The method of DNA detection using P in conjunction with the collision cell, or cool plasma to form PO+ was also demonstrated and the limitations of the method, namely, polyatomic interferences and severe matrix effects were highlighted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Oligonucleotides ; DNA ; Phosphorus ; Gold ; Nano-particles ; Labelling ; ICPMS ; Collision/reaction cell ; HPLC-ICP-MS ; ESI-MS ; Platinum ; Metallodrugs ; Cisplatin ; Oxaliplatin