Quantitative analysis of mycosporine-like amino acids in marine algae by capillary electrophoresis with diode-array detection

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Marine species have evolved a variety of physical or chemical strategies to diminish damage from elevated environmental ultraviolet radiation. Mycosporine-like amino acids, a group of widely distributed small water soluble compounds, are biologically relevant because of their photo-protective potential. In addition, presumed antioxidant and skin protective strategies raise the interest for possible medicinal and cosmetic applications. In this study the first CE method for the quantification of mycosporine-like amino acids in marine species is presented. A borate buffer system consisting of 30 mM sodium tetraborate in water at a pH-value of 10.3 enabled the baseline separation of five MAAs, namely palythine, mycosporine-serinol, asterina-330, shinorine and porphyra-334, in 27 min. Separation voltage, temperature and detection wavelength were 25 kV, 25 °C and 320 nm, respectively. The optimized method was fully validated and applied for the quantitative determination of MAAs in the marine macroalgae Palmaria palmata, Porphyra umbilicalis, and Porphyra sp., as well as the lichen Lichina pygmaea.

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