Analytical procedures for quantification of peptides in pharmaceutical research by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2004 Feb;378(4):883-97. doi: 10.1007/s00216-003-2298-y. Epub 2003 Nov 28.


Peptide quantification by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) combines the high resolving power of reversed-phase (RP) chromatography with the excellent selectivity and sensitivity of mass spectrometric detection. On the basis of comprehensive practical experience in the analysis of small molecules, pharmaceutical research is developing technologies for analysis of a growing number of peptidic drug candidates. This article is a detailed review of procedures based on LC-MS techniques for quantitative determination of peptides. With the focus on pharmaceutical applications several technologies for sample preparation, various aspects of peptide chromatography, important characteristics of ESI-MS, selectivity of MS-detection modes, the large variability of internal standards, and modern instrumentation are discussed. The demand for reliable, robust, sensitive, and accurate methods is discussed using numerous examples from the literature, complemented by experiments and results from our laboratory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Peptides / analysis*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods*


  • Peptides