Humans are continuously exposed to hazardous chemicals in the environment. These chemicals or their electrophilic metabolites can form adducts with genomic DNA, which can lead to mutations and the initiation of cancer. The identification of DNA adducts is required for understanding exposure and the etiological role of a genotoxic chemical in cancer risk. The analytical chemist is confronted with a great challenge because the levels of DNA adducts generally occur at <1 adduct per 107 nucleotides, and the amount of tissue available for measurement is limited. Ion trap mass spectrometry has emerged as an important technique to screen for DNA adducts because of the high level sensitivity and selectivity, particularly when employing multi-stage scanning (MSn). The product ion spectra provide rich structural information and corroborate the adduct identities even at trace levels in human tissues. Ion trap technology represents a significant advance in measuring DNA adducts in humans.
- DNA adducts
- Ion trap mass spectrometry