Less common "doping" agents and substances encountered during routine screening for drugs.
The chromatographic and spectroscopic properties of several unusual substances which have been detected in the "alkaloidal" chloroform extract from racehorse urine and saliva samples are reported. Some of these substances have been identified by combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the source of the substance is stated where this is known. Other substances whose identity is not known have been detected and their mass spectra show characteristic amine fragments. The occurrence of these unidentified substances is more frequent in aged urine samples and it would therefore appear that they are associated with putrefaction. (+info)
Urinary lithium: distribution shape, reference values, and evaluation of exposure by inductively coupled plasma argon-emission spectrometry.
Inductively coupled plasma argon-emission spectrometry (ICPAES) was used to evaluate the lithium content of undiluted urine samples. The method can be performed with 1 mL of urine in a single tube using a routine ICPAES analysis for rapid and convenient assessment of lithium exposure in humans. Urine samples obtained from male workers (n = 86) who had not been exposed to lithium were used for the determination of this element by ICPAES. The obtained concentrations were corrected using a specific gravity of 1.024. The particular frequency distribution resulted in a log-normal distribution diagram for anatomical spread. Geometric mean value for urinary lithium in the nonexposed male workers was 23.5 microg/L, and the confidence interval from a log-normal distribution was 11.0 to 50.5 microg/L. Taking into consideration a short biological half-life and the massive urine excretion of lithium, urinary lithium was considered to be a useful index for monitoring of exposure. Calibration curves obtained for lithium standards had good sensitivity and linearity. Good reproducibility was assessed by lithium addition to urine samples. It was concluded that the obtained lithium reference values would be useful for the early diagnosis of lithium intoxication or in the assessment of the degree of exposure to lithium in subjects at risk. (+info)
Archive of mass spectral data files on recordable CD-ROMs and creation and maintenance of a searchable computerized database.
A database containing names of mass spectral data files generated in a forensic toxicology laboratory and two Microsoft Visual Basic programs to maintain and search this database is described. The data files (approximately 0.5 KB/each) were collected from six mass spectrometers during routine casework. Data files were archived on 650 MB (74 min) recordable CD-ROMs. Each recordable CD-ROM was given a unique name, and its list of data file names was placed into the database. The present manuscript describes the use of search and maintenance programs for searching and routine upkeep of the database and creation of CD-ROMs for archiving of data files. (+info)
UV irradiation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ices: production of alcohols, quinones, and ethers.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water ice were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation under astrophysical conditions, and the products were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Peripheral carbon atoms were oxidized, producing aromatic alcohols, ketones, and ethers, and reduced, producing partially hydrogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, molecules that account for the interstellar 3.4-micrometer emission feature. These classes of compounds are all present in carbonaceous meteorites. Hydrogen and deuterium atoms exchange readily between the PAHs and the ice, which may explain the deuterium enrichments found in certain meteoritic molecules. This work has important implications for extraterrestrial organics in biogenesis. (+info)
Relationship between UDP-glucose 4-epimerase activity and oligoglucose glycoforms in two strains of Neisseria meningitidis.
Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel analysis of lipooligosaccharide (LOS) from Neisseria meningitidis has demonstrated considerable microheterogeneity in the variable region of LOS due to the presence of novel glycoforms. As a step toward understanding the basis for the expression of these novel glycoforms, we have examined the LOS structures and UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (epimerase) activity levels in two strains (NMB and MA-1) and their respective galE mutants. Strain NMB was found to have low epimerase activity and to contain multiple glycoforms, some of which appear to contain only glucose sugars. The galE mutant had only the oligoglucose glycoforms. Strain MA-1 had higher epimerase activity at both log and stationary phases (2- and 12.5-fold, respectively) and one glycoform with a putative lactosyl structure. Strain MA-1 galE had two glycoforms that contained one or two glucose residues. To understand the molecular basis for the different epimerase activities, we examined the predicted amino acid sequences of the respective galE open reading frames and determined the relative amounts of GalE protein. We found no significant differences between the predicted amino acid sequence of the GalE protein in NMB and that in MA-1. We observed no significant differences in the level of GalE protein between MA-1 and NMB at exponential or stationary phase. We also observed an 8.2-fold drop in epimerase activity in NMB between the log and stationary phases that was not due to the GalE protein level or low glucose levels. (+info)
Insulin-like growth factors I and II are unable to form and maintain their native disulfides under in vivo redox conditions.
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I does not quantitatively form its three native disulfide bonds in the presence of 10 mM reduced and 1 mM oxidized glutathione in vitro [Hober, S. et al. (1992) Biochemistry 31, 1749-1756]. In this paper, we show (i) that both IGF-I and IGF-II are unable to form and maintain their native disulfide bonds at redox conditions that are similar to the situation in the secretory vesicles in vivo and (ii) that the presence of protein disulfide isomerase does not overcome this problem. The results indicate that the previously described thermodynamic disulfide exchange folding problem of IGF-I in vitro is also present in vivo. Speculatively, we suggest that the thermodynamic disulfide exchange properties of IGF-I and II are biologically significant for inactivation of the unbound growth factors by disulfide exchange reactions to generate variants destined for rapid clearance. (+info)
Purification and identification of a novel subunit of protein serine/threonine phosphatase 4.
The catalytic subunit of protein serine/threonine phosphatase 4 (PP4C) has greater than 65% amino acid identity to the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2AC). Despite this high homology, PP4 does not appear to associate with known PP2A regulatory subunits. As a first step toward characterization of PP4 holoenzymes and identification of putative PP4 regulatory subunits, PP4 was purified from bovine testis soluble extracts. PP4 existed in two complexes of approximately 270-300 and 400-450 kDa as determined by gel filtration chromatography. The smaller PP4 complex was purified by sequential phenyl-Sepharose, Source 15Q, DEAE2, and Superdex 200 gel filtration chromatographies. The final product contained two major proteins: the PP4 catalytic subunit plus a protein that migrated as a doublet of 120-125 kDa on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The associated protein, termed PP4R1, and PP4C also bound to microcystin-Sepharose. Mass spectrometry analysis of the purified complex revealed two major peaks, at 35 (PP4C) and 105 kDa (PP4R1). Amino acid sequence information of several peptides derived from the 105 kDa protein was utilized to isolate a human cDNA clone. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence revealed 13 nonidentical repeats similar to repeats found in the A subunit of PP2A (PP2AA). The PP4R1 cDNA clone engineered with an N-terminal Myc tag was expressed in COS M6 cells and PP4C co-immunoprecipitated with Myc-tagged PP4R1. These data indicate that one form of PP4 is similar to the core complex of PP2A in that it consists of a catalytic subunit and a "PP2AA-like" structural subunit. (+info)
Identification of 17-methyl-18-norandrosta-5,13(17-dien-3beta-ol, the C19 fragment formed by adrenal side chain cleavage of a 20-aryl analog of (20S)-20-hydroxycholesterol.
Incubation of (20R)-20-phenyl-5-pregnene-3beta,20-diol, an aromatic analog of (23S)-20-hydroxycholesterol, with an adrenal mitochondrial preparation leads to the formation of four compounds: pregnenolone, phenol, a C8 ketone, acetophenone, and a nonpolar C19 compound. This latter compound has now been identified by reverse isotope dilution analysis and by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as 17-methyl-18-norandrosta-5,13(17)-dien-3beta-ol. From these results it is evident that enzymatic fission of the C-17,20 bond of this synthetic derivative occurs. On the other hand, when (20S)-20-hydroxy[21-14C]cholesterol was used as substrate, the analogous cleavage did not take place. Thus, substitution of an aromatic group on C-20 facilitates side chain cleavage between that carbon atom and the nucleus whereas neither of the naturally occuring precursors, cholesterol or its 20-hydroxylated counterpart, are metabolized to a C8 fragment. (+info)