Publication Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Walter Henne, Jr., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joong-Won Shin, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

K. G. Sanjaya Ranmohotti, Ph.D.


Folate receptor alpha is a membrane-bound protein displaying high affinity for folic acid. This receptor serves as a receptor-mediated transport system of folic acid into cancer and cells associated with inflammation (e.g., macrophages). Folate is a basic component of cell metabolism in both the synthesis of DNA and proteins, which is hypothesized to be necessary for maintaining adequate processes during increased metabolic demand. Interestingly, most normal cells in the body have little or no high affinity folate receptor alpha. Based on these attributes, folate based drug delivery, imaging systems, and diagnostic systems are in several stages of development worldwide. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a folate 5-His conjugate has been used in this fashion.

In this project, analytical analysis of a folate polyethylene glycol (PEG) 5-histidine conjugate was undertaken. This conjugate is capable of binding to nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) nickel in the classic 6-histidine (his) capture systems including NTA-Ni magnetic beads and Nano composites. The resulting compound was successfully synthesized and proven with the diode array detector during liquid chromatography separation with a maximal absorption at 280 nm with a shoulder peak at 363 nm at 15.277 minutes. This peak was isolated and then directly injected into the electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometer (Agilent technologies) which produced a doubly charged and triply charged anions at m/z’s of 665.0 and 443.7 respectively, which fall within the expected range for the protonated Folate-PEG-5-His molecule.