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Mixed-mode anion-cation exchange/hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry as an alternative to reversed phase for small molecule drug discovery

Mixed-mode anion-cation exchange/hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry as an alternative to reversed phase for small molecule drug discovery

Analytical Chemistry 72(19): 4629-4633

Within pharmaceutical drug discovery, significant needs currently exist for the analysis and purification of structurally diverse samples prior to or immediately following high-throughput screening. These processes are required to facilitate rapid and accurate biological profiling, structural determination, and resupply of new drug candidates. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) for both analytical and preparative applications has become the small molecule separation/detection tool of choice for meeting many of these needs. However, the separation selectivity provided by RP-HPLC has been limited to the hydrophobicity-based resolution of relatively nonpolar sample components, and for high-throughput drug discovery applications, no sufficient alternative procedures have been identified. In this investigation, a mixed-mode anion-cation exchange/hydrophilic interaction chromatography (ACE-HILIC) method has been developed to provide both direct compatibility with ESI-MS and evaporative light-scattering detection (ELSD) and separation selectivity highly orthogonal to RP-HPLC. The technique employed silica-based small-pore weak ion exchange resins eluted with a combined aqueous and pH gradient. A diverse set of dipeptide probes was employed for the elucidation of the relative contributions of three retention mechanisms. ACE-HILIC-ESI-MS-ELSD should prove useful for the analysis and purification of compounds from both biological (e.g., natural products) and synthetic (e.g., combinatorial chemistry) sources of molecular diversity.

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Accession: 046696330

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PMID: 11028621

DOI: 10.1021/ac000338b

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