Xue, Fei, et al. “Peptide Biomarkers Discovery for Seven Species of Deer Antler Using LC-MS/MS and Label-Free Approach.” Molecules 27.15 (2022): 4756. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27154756
Deer antler is a globally widely used precious natural medicine and the material of deer horn gelatin. However, identification of deer antler species based on traditional approaches are problematic because of their similarity in appearance and physical-chemical properties. In this study, we performed a comprehensive antler peptidome analysis using a label-free approach: nano LC-Orbitrap MS was applied to discover peptide biomarkers in deer adult beta-globin (HBBA), and HPLC-Triple Quadrupole MS was used to verify their specificity. Nineteen peptide biomarkers were found, on which foundation a strategy for antlers and a strategy for antler mixtures such as flakes or powder are provided to identify seven species of deer antler including Eurasian elk (Alces alces), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus viginianus), white-lipped deer (Przewalskium albirostris), fallow deer (Dama dama), sika deer (Cervus nippon), and red deer (Cervus elaphus) simultaneously. It is worth noting that our search found that the HBBA gene of sika deer, red deer, and North American wapiti (Cervus canadensis) in China may have undergone severe genetic drifts.