Aerobic activated sludge transformation of vincristine and identification of the transformation products

Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jan 1;610-611:892-904. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.061. Epub 2017 Aug 19.


This study aims to identify (bio)transformation products of vincristine, a plant alkaloid chemotherapy drug. A batch biotransformation experiment was set-up using activated sludge at two concentration levels with and without the addition of a carbon source. Sample analysis was performed on an ultra-high performance liquid chromatograph coupled to a high-resolution hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap tandem mass spectrometer. To identify molecular ions of vincristine transformation products and to propose molecular and chemical structures, we performed data-dependent acquisition experiments combining full-scan mass spectrometry data with product ion spectra. In addition, the use of non-commercial detection and prediction algorithms such as MZmine 2 and EAWAG-BBD Pathway Prediction System, was proven to be proficient for screening for transformation products in complex wastewater matrix total ion chromatograms. In this study eleven vincristine transformation products were detected, nine of which were tentatively identified.

Keywords: Biodegradation; Mass spectrometry; Transformation; Transformation product; Vincristine; Wastewater.