Quantification of melittin in Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda) venom by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-IT-MS/MS)

Document Type: Short Communication

Authors

1 Department of Chemistry, Imam Khomeini International University (IKIU), P.O. Box 288, Qazvin 34149-16818, Iran

2 Department of Physico Chemistry, Razi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO),

Abstract

A liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-IT-MS/MS) approach was employed for the quantification of melittin (MEL) in Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda) venom. Melittin is the major component of honey bee venom with various biological and pharmacological activities. It was extracted with water from the bee venom samples and the analyses were performed on XBridge BEH300 C4 column using a gradient method with the mobile phase consisting of ultrapure water and acetonitrile (containing 0.1% formic acid). Signals of the melittin were recorded with the single reaction monitoring (SRM) mode, which enabled the quantification of the analytes with high specificity and sensitivity. The mass spectrum of MEL was obtained in the positive ion mode and the precursor to product ion transition of m/z 570.2/669.9 was used for quantification analysis. This method showed a good linearity (R2˃0.997) in the range of 1–100 µg mL-1 with a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 1.0 µg mL-1. The content of MEL in Iranian honey bee venom ranged from 43% to 55% of dry weight. This method can be used to evaluate the quality and authenticity of bee venom samples for different therapeutic applications of MEL.
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