IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 14960: Cholesterol Stationary Phase in the Separation and Identification of siRNA Impurities by Two-Dimensional Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
The aim of this research was to develop a simple and efficient ion-pair reagent-free chromatographic method for the separation and qualitative determination of oligonucleotide impurities, exemplified by synthesis of raw products of the two single strands of patisiran siRNA. The stationary phases with mixed hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties (cholesterol and alkylamide) were firstly used for this purpose with reversed-phased high-performance liquid chromatography. Several different chromatographic parameters were tested for their impact on impurities separation: type, concentration, pH of salt, as well as organic solvent type in the mobile phase. The pH was the most influential factor on the separation and signal intensities in mass spectrometry detection. Finally, the optimized method included the application of cholesterol stationary phase, with mobile phase containing 20 mM ammonium formate (pH 6.5) and methanol. It allowed good separation and the identification of most impurities within 25 min. Since not all closely related impurities could be fully resolved from the main peak in this oligonucleotide impurity profiling, two-dimensional liquid chromatography was used for peak purity determination of the target oligonucleotides. The Ethylene Bridged Hybrid (BEH) Amide column in hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography was applied in the second dimension, allowing additional separation of three closely related impurities.