Plasmid DNA may exist in three isoforms, the linear, open-circular (oc, "nicked"), and covalently closed circular (ccc, "supercoiled") form. We have recently reported on the chromatographic separation of supercoiled plasmid topoisomers on cinchona-alkaloid modified silica-based stationary phases. Herein, we present a selectivity switching mechanism to achieve separation of isoforms and/or supercoiled topoisomers using the very same chromatographic column and system. While salt gradient elution facilitates topoisomer separation, the supercoiled species are eluting as a single peak upon elution by a mixed pH and organic modifier gradient, still well separated from the other isoforms. We have found that a mobile phase pH value near the pI of the zwitterionic adsorbent surface leads to full recovery of all plasmid DNA isoforms, which is a major issue when using anion exchange-based resins. Furthermore, the observed elution pattern, oc <linear <ccc, is constant upon changes of mobile phase composition, gradient slope, and plasmid size. The remarkable isoform selectivity found on quinine-based selectors is explained by van't Hoff plots, revealing a different binding mechanism between the supercoiled plasmid on one hand and the oc and linear isoforms on the other hand.
|Title of host publication||Analytical Chemistry|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Mar 2013|