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Analysis of Polyamines


Biogenic polyamines are sensitive markers for various diseases including cancer and urea cycle disorders. Polyamines are difficult to analyze by chromatography due to their high polarity and water-solubility. Proper derivatization of polyamines is an essential step for their chromatographic analysis. Now we have explored the chromatographic potential of CaSO4 for the analysis of aliphatic polyamines without attempting their derivatization [1,2].



Figure. Detection of ornithine on silica gel and CaSO4 coated TLC plates after different times. Note that all the spots disappeared on silica gel layers after 72 hours but remained stable on CaSO4 layers.



We have shown that CaSO4 is superior to silica gel for the separation of underivatized polyamines. The development time of CaSO4 plates was also about one-third shorter as compared to silica gel coated plates. This procedure was applied for the quantitative separation of polyamines in human urine samples [2]. This is the first study reporting a TLC methodology for the separation of underivatized polyamines.




Figure. Separation of ornithine (1) and citrulline (2) from cadaverine (4), spermine (5) and spermidine (6) on CaSO4 coatings using methanol as mobile phase.

  1. Khan HA. Thin-layer chromatographic separation of cadaverine and ornithine, and spectrophotometric quantification. J. Planar Chromatogr Modern TLC 2007; 20: 231-233.
  2. Khan HA. TLC determination of aliphatic polyamines on calcium sulfate layers. Chromatographia 2006; 64: 423-427.

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