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An Enzymatic Method for Methanol Quantification in Methanol/Ethanol Mixtures with a Microtiter Plate Fluorometer


In response to the need for a rapid, high-throughput screening of methanol contamination in spirits, a new microplate-based assay was developed. In this assay, alcohol oxidase first oxidizes methanol to formaldehyde, which is further oxidized to formate by formaldehyde dehydrogenase while reducing NAD+ to NADH. The latter product then reacts with resazurin under catalysis by FerB, a diaphorase-type enzyme, to give the highly fluorescent resorufin. These reactions are run simultaneously in 200 μL final volume in a 96-well plate and quantified using a plate reader and fluorescence detector. It is shown that the rate of fluorescence change is related to methanol and ethanol concentrations according to the rate law for two competing substrates. Quantification of methanol in real samples is carried out by applying the standard additions technique with four different spiking concentrations of the methanol standard; methanol content in the sample is calculated from the x-intercept of the fitted line. The high activity of FerB with resazurin and low rate of further conversion of resorufin to non-fluorescent dihydroresorufin indicate that FerB may be advantageous over commercially available diaphorases for use in fluorescence enzyme assays.

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The authors are grateful to Helena Zavadilová from the Department of Chemistry for performing the gas chromatography analyses. Thanks are also due to Marcela Hrnčířová for excellent technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Igor Kučera.

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This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation Project No. GAP503/12/0369 to Igor Kučera.

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Igor Kučera declares that he has no conflict of interest. Vojtěch Sedláček declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Kučera, I., Sedláček, V. An Enzymatic Method for Methanol Quantification in Methanol/Ethanol Mixtures with a Microtiter Plate Fluorometer. Food Anal. Methods 10, 1301–1307 (2017).

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  • Methanol
  • Alcohol oxidase
  • Formaldehyde dehydrogenase
  • Diaphorase
  • Resazurin
  • Fluorescence