Molecularly Imprinted Polymer-Coated Probe Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Determines Phorbol Esters and Deoxyphorbol Metabolites in Jatropha curcas Leaves

  • Lidya C. da Silva
  • Thays C. de Carvalho
  • Igor Pereira
  • Julio Cesar Marana
  • Bruno G. Laviola
  • Patricia V. Abdelnur
  • Boniek G. VazEmail author
Research Article


In this study, a molecularly imprinted polymer-coated probe electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (MIPCPESI-MS) method was developed for detection of phorbol esters (PEs) and deoxyphorbol metabolites in Jatropha curcas leaves. Such an approach was established by sticking on a metallic needle a molecularly imprinted polymer to particularly design a MIP-coated probe for selective sampling and ionization of PEs and deoxyphorbol metabolites. By a subsequent application of a high voltage and methanol, as spray solvent, ESI was generated for direct and rapid analysis under ambient and open-air conditions. MIP-coated probe exhibited a high sampling capacity of the PEs and its metabolites in methanolic extracts of J. curcas leaves compared with the non-imprinted polymer (NIP)-coated probe. MIPCPESI-MS allowed the detection of phorbol 12,13-diacetate (PDA) from J. curcas leaves with minimal sample preparation, and with detection limit and quantification reaching 0.28 μg/mL and 0.92 μg/mL, respectively. Also, good linearity was obtained with R2 > 0.99 and precision and accuracy values between 4.06–13.49% and − 1.60 to − 15.26%, respectively. The current method was successfully applied to screening methanolic extracts of six different J. curcas leaf genotypes (three toxic and three non-toxic). PDA and three PE deoxyphorbol metabolites were identified only from toxic genotypes, in which PDA was determined with concentration ranging from 222.19 ± 23.55 to 528.23 ± 19.72 μg/g. All these findings support that the MIPCPESI-MS method developed here has a high potential for the analysis of PEs in plant extracts enabling differentiation of toxic and non-toxic genotypes earlier in the leaves.


Probe electrospray ionization (PESI) Molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) Phorbol esters 



This work received institutional and financial support by CAPES, CNPq, and FAPEG.

Supplementary material

13361_2019_2269_MOESM1_ESM.docx (308 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 307 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (LaCEM), Chemistry InstituteFederal University of GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  2. 2.Embrapa AgroenergyBrazilian Agricultural Research CompanyBrasíliaBrazil

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