A CE-tandem MS method was optimised and validated for selective and specific determination of LVV- and VV-hemorphin-7 peptides in cerebrospinal fluid. These two small peptides originate from haemoglobin beta chains. They possess relevant biological activity and recently a potential biomarker role in posterior cranial fossa paediatric brain tumour disease was evidenced. The separation was optimised using formic acid as background electrolyte and a water/methanol mixture, containing 0.1\% (v/v) formic acid, as sheath liquid. The two peptides, differing in only one amino acid of the sequence at the N-terminal side were baseline separated in less than 15 min. The method allowed a very reduced and rapid sample pretreatment and was successfully applied to hemorphins determination in patient samples without matrix interferences. The method successfully passed bioanalytical validation showing linearity, accuracy and precision data on cerebrospinal fluid matrix within the acceptable values. The analysis of cerebrospinal fluid of patients affected by different posterior cranial fossa tumour forms confirmed our previous findings showing the absence of hemorphins in the pre-surgical cerebrospinal fluid and their presence in the post-ones and controls. The present method saves costs and time due to capillary electrophoresis miniaturisation and to the absence of chromatographic column and gradient elution and allows numerous injections per sample starting from few microlitres of cerebrospinal fluid.
- mass spectrometry