Liang, L.; Liu, C.; Chen, B.; Yan, L.; Yu, H.; Yang, Y.; Wu, J.; Li, X.; Liu, S. LC-HRMS Screening and Identification of Novel Peptide Markers of Ricin Based on Multiple Protease Digestion Strategies. Toxins2019, 11, 393.
Liang, L.; Liu, C.; Chen, B.; Yan, L.; Yu, H.; Yang, Y.; Wu, J.; Li, X.; Liu, S. LC-HRMS Screening and Identification of Novel Peptide Markers of Ricin Based on Multiple Protease Digestion Strategies. Toxins 2019, 11, 393.
Both ricin and R. communis agglutinin (RCA120), belonging to the type II ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs-Ⅱ), are derived from the seeds of castor bean plant. They share very similar amino acid sequences, but ricin is much more toxic than RCA120. It is urgently necessary to distinguish ricin and RCA120 in response to public safety. Currently, mass spectrometric assays are well established for unambiguous identification of ricin by accurate analysis of differentiated amino acid residues after trypsin digestion. However, diagnostic peptides are relatively limited for unambiguous identification of trace ricin, especially in complex matrices. Here, we demonstrate a digestion strategy of multiple proteinases to produce novel peptide markers for unambiguous identification of ricin. LC-HRMS was used to verified the resulting peptides, among which only the peptides with uniqueness and good MS response were selected as peptide markers. Seven novel peptide markers were obtained from tandem digestion of trypsin and endoproteinase Glu-C in PBS buffer. From the chymotrypsin digestion under reduction and non-reduction conditions, eight and seven novel peptides were selected respectively. Using pepsin under pH 1~2 and proteinase K digestion, 6 and 5 peptides were selected as novel peptide markers. In conclusion, the obtained novel peptides from the established digestion methods can be recommended for the unambiguous identification of ricin during the investigation of illegal use of the toxin.
ricin; marker peptides; unambiguous identification; mass spectrometry
CHEMISTRY, Analytical Chemistry
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