Automated method for measuring globin adducts of acrylamide and glycidamide at optimized Edman reaction conditions

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2006;20(6):959-64. doi: 10.1002/rcm.2396.


The general population is exposed to acrylamide, a potential human carcinogen, through food and cigarette smoke. The assessment of human exposure to acrylamide is important in the evaluation of health risks associated with this chemical. Hemoglobin adducts of acrylamide (AA-Hb) and its primary metabolite glycidamide (GA-Hb) are established biomarkers of acrylamide exposure and methods to measure these biomarkers using modified Edman reaction are described. Only limited information about the optimal Edman reaction conditions such as pH or temperature is available for these adducts and the existing methods do not allow automation needed in biomonitoring studies. In this study, the yield of Edman products of AA-Hb and GA-Hb between pH 3-10 and at 35-55 degrees C at different time intervals, and the applicability of liquid-liquid extraction on diatomaceous earth for analyte extraction, were assessed and results were used in a new optimized method. The applicability of our optimized method was assessed by comparing results obtained with a convenience sample from 96 individuals with a conventional method. Maximum yield of Edman products was obtained between pH 6-7, heating the reaction solution at 55 degrees C for 2 h resulted in the same yields as with conventional conditions, and use of diatomaceous earth was found suitable for automated analyte extraction. Using these conditions, no difference was observed between our optimized and a conventional method. The median globin adduct values in the convenience sample are 129 pmol/g globin (range: 27-453 pmol/g globin) and 97 pmol/g globin (range: 27-240 pmol/g globin) for AA-Hb and GA-Hb, respectively. The GA-Hb/AA-Hb ratio decreases significantly with increasing AA-Hb values indicating that measurement of AA-Hb as well as GA-Hb are needed to appropriately assess human exposure to acrylamide.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamides / analysis*
  • Acrylamides / toxicity
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epoxy Compounds / analysis*
  • Epoxy Compounds / toxicity
  • Globins / analogs & derivatives*
  • Globins / analysis
  • Globins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry


  • Acrylamides
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • glycidamide
  • Globins