Characterization and Quantification of Phorbol Esters by Tandem ESI-FT-ICR-MS


Phorbol esters (PEs) are tumerogenic compounds present in seeds of certain plant species, such as Jatropha curcas. J. curcas kernels are rich in oil, which has given the hardy, draught-resistant, perennial plant considerable attention as a sustainable bioenergy source. The principal negative factor limiting wide acceptance of it as a bioenergy source is the presence of highly toxic PEs. PEs are esters of polycyclic tigliane diterpenes in which one or more hydroxyl groups are acylated. Despite their biological significance, presently there are no methods available for determination of PEs in biological matrices. The characterization and quantification of PEs are hampered by their thermally labile nature, lack of a good UV-vis chromophore, and an ionizable functionality. Liquid chromatography (LC) in combination with adduct electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) was evaluated for characterization and quantification of PEs in raw and detoxified J. curcas seed kernels. Characterization was carried out with LC-adduct ESI interfaced to a Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) system. Quantification was carried out through LC-adduct ESI-MS. The formation of adduct pseudomolecular ions was confirmed with ESI-FT-ICR-MS; in all cases mass error for the observed anions mass and the calculated mass was ≤ 1 ppm.




The authors would like to thank the Center for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST) at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Missouri) and Novus International Inc. (St. Charles, Missouri) for the financial support.

Keywords and Phrases

Jatropha; Jatropha curcas; Curcas seed

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Article - Journal

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© 2012 Advanstar Communications Inc., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2012

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