This study introduces a high-speed screening method for the quantitative analysis of lipoprotein components in human plasma samples using online miniaturized asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation and electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (mAF4-ESI-MS/MS). Using an mAF4 channel, high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins can be fractionated by size at a high speed (<10 min) and directly fed to ESI-MS/MS for the simultaneous screening of targeted lipid species and apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1). By employing the heated electrospray ionization probe as an ionization source, an mAF4 effluent flow rate of up to a few tens of microliters per minute can be used, which is adequate for direct feeding to MS without splitting the outflow, resulting in a consistent feed rate to MS for stable MS detection. mAF4-ESI-MS/MS was applied to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) plasma samples for targeted quantification of 25 lipid biomarker candidates and ApoA1 compared with healthy controls, the results of which were in statistical agreement with the quantified results obtained by nanoflow ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Moreover, the present method provided the simultaneous detection of changes in lipoprotein size and the relative amount. This study demonstrated the potential of mAF4-ESI-MS/MS as an alternative high-speed screening platform for the top-down analysis of targeted lipoprotein components in patients with HCC, which is applicable to other diseases that involve the perturbation of lipoproteins.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2019R1A6A3A01094710) and in part by a grant (NRF2018R1A2A1A05019794) of the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning through the NRF.
© 2021 American Chemical Society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry