Analysis of oligonucleotides by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled to negative ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.
Gong L., McCullagh JSO.
Hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) is here successfully coupled to negative-ion electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOFMS) for the analysis of synthetic and chemically modified oligonucleotides. Separation was performed on a 2.1 mm × 100 mm PEEK ZIC HILIC column packed with hydrophilic stationary phase with a permanent zwitterionic functional group and a particle size of 3.5 μm with an average pore diameter of 200Å. A method was developed to separate homogeneous and heterogeneous oligonucleotides as well as methylated oligonucleotides using a quaternary pumping system containing ammonium acetate and water with an acetonitrile gradient. Analyses of oligonucleotides were performed by LC/MS with a detection limit of 2.5 picomole (20 mer) with signal to noise ratio (S/N) of 4.12. The influence of the eluent composition, type of buffer and its concentration, and organic modifier were also evaluated. The HILIC LC/MS method presented in this paper used common, 'MS friendly', mobile phases achieving sensitive and selective oligonucleotide analysis.