HPLC determination of bioactive sulfur compounds, amino acids and biogenic amines in biological specimens

Antonio Francioso, Sergio Fanelli, Daniele Vigli, Laura Ricceri, Rosaria A. Cavallaro, Alessia Baseggio Conrado, Mario Fontana, Maria D’Erme, Luciana Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is an increasing interest for analytical methods aimed to detect biological sulfur-containing amines, because of their involvement in human diseases and metabolic disorders. This work describes an improved HPLC method for the determination of sulfur containing amino acids and amines from different biological matrices. We optimized a pre-column derivatization procedure using dabsyl chloride, in which dabsylated products can be monitored spectrophotometrically at 460 nm. This method allows the simultaneous analysis of biogenic amines, amino acids and sulfo-amino compounds including carnosine, dopamine, epinephrine, glutathione, cysteine, taurine, lanthionine, and cystathionine in brain specimens, urines, plasma, and cell lysates. Moreover, the method is suitable for the study of physiological and non-physiological derivatives of taurine and glutathione such as hypotaurine, homotaurine, homocysteic acid and S-acetylglutathione. The present method displays good efficiency of derivatization, having the advantage to give rise to stable products compared to other derivatizing agents such as o-phthalaldehyde and dansyl chloride. With this method, we provide a tool to study sulfur cycle from a metabolic point of view in relation to the pattern of biological amino-compounds, allowing researchers to get a complete scenario of organic sulfur and amino metabolism in tissues and cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-549
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Dabsyl chloride
  • High pressure/performance liquid chromatography
  • Sulfur-containing bioactive compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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