Influence of Blood Collection Methods and Long-Term Plasma Storage on Quorum-Sensing Peptide Stability

ACS Omega. 2020 Jun 22;5(26):16120-16127. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.0c01723. eCollection 2020 Jul 7.


Finding adequate biomarkers for rapid and accurate disease detection, prognosis, and therapy is increasingly important. Quorum-sensing peptides are herein a new emerging group, produced by bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses, with blood being the most straightforward sample type to detect/quantitate them. However, detailed information about suitable blood sample collection methods and storage conditions for measuring these quorum-sensing peptides hampers further clinical research and development. Here, we first tested the time-dependent stability of a set of chemically diverse quorum-sensing peptides, spiked in blood at different temperatures (4, 21, and 37 °C) in four different ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA)-containing plasma tubes (with different protein-stabilizing additives) over a period of up to 7.5 h. Next, we determined the storage stability of these quorum-sensing peptides in plasma at different temperatures (4, -35, and -80 °C). UPLC/MS-MS was used to selectively detect and quantify the spiked quorum-sensing peptides. The results of this study indicate that a cost-effective tube, designed for traditional proteomics and stored at 4 °C, is the preferred collection condition when quorum-sensing peptides need to be detected/quantified in human plasma. When the tubes are handled at room temperature (21 °C), a more specialized tube is required. Long-term storage of plasma samples, even under low-temperature conditions (-80 °C), indicates rapid degradation of certain quorum-sensing peptides.