Determination of l-asparagine in biological samples in the presence of l-asparaginase

Donatella Gentili, Massimo Zucchetti, Valentino Conter, Giuseppe Masera, Maurizio D'Incalci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The antileukaemic efficacy of l-asparaginase is related to the ability of the enzyme to induce the complete disappearance from plasma of l-asparagine, an amino acid essential to lymphoblastic leukaemia cells. It is not feasible to monitor l-asparagine plasma levels in patients under l-asparaginase treatment using the usual analytical procedures as the enzyme continues the hydrolysis of l-asparagine after blood samplaing and during plasma extraction. A method was therefore developed for the determination of l-asparagine in patients receiving l-asparaginase. Sulphosalicylic acid is added to blood samples to deproteinize and inactivate l-asparaginase rapidly. The samples are then analysed by HPLC using a Novapack C18 column and fluorescence detection. With the same method l-asparagine is determined in blood cells and, by difference, plasma levels are calculated. This method is highly specific and sufficiently simple and sensitive for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Biomedical Sciences and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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