alexa Detection and quantification of ricin in beverages using isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry.
General Science

General Science

Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense

Author(s): McGrath SC, Schieltz DM, McWilliams LG, Pirkle JL, Barr JR

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Abstract The toxic plant protein ricin has gained notoriety due to wide availability and potential use as a bioterrorism agent, with particular concern for food supply contamination. We have developed a sensitive and selective mass spectrometry-based method to detect ricin in tap water, 2\% milk, apple juice, and orange juice. Ricin added to beverage matrices was extracted using antibody-bound magnetic beads and digested with trypsin. Absolute quantification was performed using isotope dilution mass spectrometry with a linear ion trap operating in product-ion-monitoring mode. The method allows for identification of ricin A chain and B chain and for distinction of ricin from ricin agglutinin within a single analytical run. Ricin-bound beads were also tested for deadenylase activity by incubation with a synthetic ssDNA oligomer. Depurination of the substrate by ricin was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS). This method was used successfully to extract ricin from each beverage matrix. The activity of recovered ricin was assessed, and quantification was achieved, with a limit of detection of 10 fmol/mL (0.64 ng/mL). © 2011 American Chemical Society This article was published in Anal Chem and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense

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