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Open Access Highly Accessed Methodology article

Optimization and validation of a reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography method for the measurement of bovine liver methylmalonyl-coenzyme a mutase activity

Bazoumana Ouattara*, Mélissa Duplessis and Christiane L Girard

Author Affiliations

Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2000 College Street, Sherbrooke, Quebec J1M 0C8, Canada

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BMC Biochemistry 2013, 14:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-14-25

Published: 16 October 2013

Abstract

Background

Methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM) is an adenosylcobalamin-dependent enzyme that catalyses the interconversion of (2R)-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA. In humans, a deficit in activity of MCM, due to an impairment of intracellular formation of adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin results in a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from moderate to fatal. Consequently, MCM is the subject of abundant literature. However, there is a lack of consensus on the reliable method to monitor its activity. This metabolic pathway is highly solicited in ruminants because it is essential for the utilization of propionate formed during ruminal fermentation. In lactating dairy cows, propionate is the major substrate for glucose formation. In present study, a reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) was optimized and validated to evaluate MCM activity in bovine liver. The major aim of the study was to describe the conditions to optimize reproducibility of the method and to determine stability of the enzyme and its product during storage and processing of samples.

Results

Specificity of the method was good, as there was no interfering peak from liver extract at the retention times corresponding to methylmalonyl-CoA or succinyl-CoA. Repeatability of the method was improved as compared to previous RP-HPLC published data. Using 66 μg of protein, intra-assay coefficient of variation (CV) of specific activities, ranged from 0.90 to 8.05% and the CV inter-day was 7.40%. Storage and processing conditions (frozen homogenate of fresh tissue vs. fresh homogenate of tissue snapped in liquid nitrogen) did not alter the enzyme activity. The analyte was also stable in liver crude extract for three frozen/thawed cycles when stored at -20°C and thawed to room temperature.

Conclusions

The improved method provides a way for studying the effects of stages of lactation, diet composition, and physiology in cattle on MCM activity over long periods of time, such as a complete lactation period. Interestingly, this sensitive and accurate method could benefit the study of the cobalamin status in experimental studies and clinical cases.

Keywords:
Methylmalonyl-CoA mutase; Liver; Cattle; Dairy cow; Succinyl-CoA; RP-HPLC