1LGC Limited, National Measurement Laboratory (NML), Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LY, UK.
2Orphalan, 226 boulevard Voltaire, 75011, Paris, France.
3LGC Limited, National Measurement Laboratory (NML), Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LY, UK. Heidi.Goenaga-Infante@lgcroup.com.
Exchangeable copper (CuEXC), mainly comprised copper (Cu) bound to albumin, has been proposed as a specific marker of Cu overload in Wilson's disease (WD). To the author's knowledge, there are no methods capable of determining reliably CuEXC to meet the requirements and challenges faced by a clinical trial. The present work describes a novel speciation strategy for the determination of the main Cu-species in human serum by anion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS). A label-free protein quantification approach was conducted where the concentration of Cu associated to the protein fraction was based on its relative peak area distribution and the total Cu concentration in the sample. Such a methodology was characterized in terms of selectivity, sensitivity, precision, and robustness. Due to the lack of speciated Cu-reference materials, protein recovery was assessed by comparison with that of species-specific (SS) isotope dilution (ID). For this, a double SS HPLC-ICP-IDMS method for Cu-albumin was developed and presented here for the first time. Three human sera (two frozen LGC8211 and ERM®-DA250a, and the lyophilised Seronorm™ Human) were analyzed using both the relative and ID quantification methods. The validated relative approach, with relative expanded uncertainties (k = 2) between 5.7 and 10.1% for Cu-albumin concentrations ranging from 112 to 455 μg kg-1 Cu, was found to be able to discriminate between healthy and WD populations in terms of Cu-albumin content. Also, using such methodology, underestimation of CuEXC by the classical EDTA/ultrafiltration method was demonstrated. The methodology developed in this work will be invaluable for quality control assessment and WD drug monitoring. This work describes a Cu-protein quantification approach for the determination of exchangeable Cu relevant to Wilson's Disease.