Simultaneous voltammetric analysis of tryptophan and kynurenine in culture medium from human cancer cells.


Laboratory of X-ray Optics, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Konstantynow 1J, 20-708, Lublin, Poland. Electronic address: [Email]


The paper outlines the first report of application of a differential pulse voltammetry for simultaneous quantification of clinically important molecular markers - tryptophan and its metabolite - kynurenine. The analytes were determined in less than 60 s at the boron-doped diamond electrode modified in situ with bismuth film (BiF/BDDE). Proper adjustment of a supporting electrolyte composition allowed to obtain good separation of tryptophan and kynurenine oxidation peaks that appeared at potential of 0.88 and 1.05 V (vs. Ag/AgCl), respectively. Studies using an optical profilometer have confirmed an increase in electrode surface area after deposition of Bi film. At the optimized conditions, the obtained detection limits of tryptophan and kynurenine were at 30 nM concentrations. The method was validated for linearity, precision, accuracy, selectivity and recovery. We have investigated an impact of numerous relevant interfering organic compounds (including amino acids and different tryptophan metabolites of kynurenine pathway) on voltammetric signals of the measured analytes. Finally, for proof-of-technology, the sensor was used for tryptophan and kynurenine quantification in culture medium collected from human cancer cell lines (breast MDA-MB-231 and ovary SK-OV-3). The target molecules were analyzed directly, without any sample preparation step. The sensor showed good accuracy in presence of the sample matrix components that was confirmed by high performance liquid chromatography measurements. Our work emphasizes the advantages of application of the herein proposed, easy to fabricate voltammetric sensor, instead of popular chromatographic assays or previously proposed potentiometric immunosensor. The method might serve for rapid assessment of kynurenine pathway activity in cancer cells.


Bismuth film,Boron-doped diamond electrode,Cancer cells,Differential pulse voltammetry,Kynurenine,Tryptophan,

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