Ribonucleosides are the end products of RNA metabolism. These metabolites, especially the modified ribonucleosides, have been extensively evaluated as cancer-related biomarkers. However, the determination of urinary ribonucleosides is still a challenge due to their low abundance, high polarity and serious matrix interferences in urine samples. In this study, a derivatization method based on a chemical reaction between ribonucleosides and acetone to form acetonides was developed for the determination of urinary ribonucleosides. The derivative products, acetonides, were detected by using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). The methodological evaluation was performed by quantifying four nucleosides for linear range, average recovery, precision, accuracy and stability. The validated procedures were applied to screen modified ribonucleosides in urine samples. Improvement of separation and enhancement of sensitivity were obtained in the analysis. To identify ribonucleosides, inexpensive isotope labeling acetone (acetone-d6) and label-free acetone were applied to form ordinary and deuterated acetonides, respectively. The two groups of samples were separated with orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS). The ordinary and deuterated pairs of acetonides were symmetrically distributed in the S-plot for easy and visual signal identification. After structural confirmation, a total of 56 ribonucleosides were detected, 52 of which were modified ribonucleosides. The application of derivatization, deuterium-labeling and multivariate statistical analysis offers a new option for selective detection of ribonucleosides in biological samples.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry
- Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry
- Modified nucleosides