The proportion of D- to L-enantiomers of aspartic acid in metabolically isolated proteins has been used by forensic scientists to estimate age at death. We have demonstrated the interference of a derivative of hydroxyproline (N-TFA isopropyl Hyp ester) with the NTFA isopropyl L-Aspartic (Asp) acid ester during gas chromatography of amino acids. This has serious implications for the accurate quantification of the D- to L-Asp ratio extracted from collagenous proteins. Having demonstrated the potential for this co-elution in amino acid standards, acid-soluble dentine proteins and non-mineralised collagen, we argue that this problem can be overcome either by high resolution separation or by analysis of the (Hyp-poor) non- collagenous protein fraction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine