Analysis of L-homoarginine in biological samples by HPLC involving precolumn derivatization with o-phthalaldehyde and N-acetyl-L-cysteine. Academic Article uri icon


  • L-Homoarginine (hArg) may play a role in regulating the metabolism of its structural homologue L-arginine via multiple pathways (including nitric oxide synthase) in animals. Accurate measurement of hArg is essential for studying its synthesis and utilization by cells and the whole body. Here, we describe a simple, sensitive and automated method for analysis of hArg in biological samples by high-performance liquid chromatography involving precolumn derivatization with o-phthalaldehyde (OPA) and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) as the thiol. The hArg-OPA-NAC derivative was separated at 25 C on a reversed-phase C18 material and detected by fluorescence at excitation and emission wavelengths of 340 and 450 nm, respectively. The total running time for one sample (including the time for column regeneration) was 20 min, with the retention time for hArg being 10.03 min. The limit of detection was 188 fmol hArg, which was equivalent to 12 nM hArg in the 160-l assay mixture. The assay was linear between 1.0 and 80 pmol hArg injected into the HPLC column (equivalent to 0.0625 and 5 M hArg in the 160-l assay mixture, respectively). The precision (relative deviation, %) and bias (relative error, %) of the HPLC method were 0.52-1.16 and 0.42-1.12, respectively, for aqueous solutions of hArg and for various biological samples (e.g., plasma, liver, brain and kidney). This is a highly sensitive, accurate, efficient and easily automated method for analysis of hArg in biological samples and provides a useful tool for studying the biochemistry, nutrition, physiology and pharmacology of hArg and arginine in animals and humans.

published proceedings

  • Amino Acids

author list (cited authors)

  • Hou, Y., Jia, S., Nawaratna, G., Hu, S., Dahanayaka, S., Bazer, F. W., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Hou, Yongqing||Jia, Sichao||Nawaratna, Gayan||Hu, Shengdi||Dahanayaka, Sudath||Bazer, Fuller W||Wu, Guoyao

publication date

  • September 2015