Measurement of apo(a) kinetics in human subjects using a microfluidic device with tandem mass spectrometry

Haihong Zhou, Jose Castro-Perez, Michael E. Lassman, Tiffany Thomas, Wenyu Li, Theresa McLaughlin, Xie Dan, Patricia Jumes, John A. Wagner, David E. Gutstein, Brian K. Hubbard, Daniel J. Rader, John S. Millar, Henry N. Ginsberg, Gissette Reyes-Soffer, Michele Cleary, Stephen F. Previs, Thomas P. Roddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


RATIONALE Apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] is the defining protein component of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The regulation of Lp(a) levels in blood is poorly understood in part due to technical challenges in measuring Lp(a) kinetics. Improvements in the ability to readily and reliably measure the kinetics of apo(a) using a stable isotope labeled tracer is expected to facilitate studies of the role of Lp(a) in cardiovascular disease. Since investigators typically determine the isotopic labeling of protein-bound amino acids following acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of a protein of interest [e.g., apo(a)], studies of protein synthesis require extensive protein purification which limits throughput and often requires large sample volumes. We aimed to develop a rapid and efficient method for studying apo(a) kinetics that is suitable for use in studies involving human subjects. METHODS Microfluidic device and tandem mass spectrometry were used to quantify the incorporation of [2H3]-leucine tracer into protein-derived peptides. RESULTS We demonstrated that it is feasible to quantify the incorporation of [2H3]-leucine tracer into a proteolytic peptide from the non-kringle repeat region of apo(a) in human subjects. Specific attention was directed toward optimizing the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) transitions, mass spectrometer settings, and chromatography (i.e., critical parameters that affect the sensitivity and reproducibility of isotopic enrichment measurements). The results demonstrated significant advantages with the use of a microfluidic device technology for studying apo(a) kinetics, including enhanced sensitivity relative to conventional micro-flow chromatography, a virtually drift-free elution profile, and a stable and robust electrospray. CONCLUSIONS The technological advances described herein enabled the implementation of a novel method for studying the kinetics of apo(a) in human subjects infused with [2H 3]-leucine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1294-1302
Number of pages9
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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