Analysis of new growth promoting black market products

Analysis of new growth promoting black market products / Oliver Krug, Andreas Thomas, Helle Malerød-Fjeld, Yvette Dehnes, Tim Laussmann, Ingo Feldmann, Albert Sickmann, Mario Thevis. - (Growth Hormone & IGF Research 41 (2018) August; p. 1-6)

  • PMID: 29864719
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ghir.2018.05.001


Detecting agents allegedly or evidently promoting growth such as human growth hormone (GH) or growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRP) in doping controls has represented a pressing issue for sports drug testing laboratories. While GH is a recombinant protein with a molecular weight of 22 kDa, the GHRPs are short (3-6 amino acids long) peptides with GH releasing properties. The endogenously produced GH (22 kDa isoform) consists of 191 amino acids and has a monoisotopic molecular mass of 22,124 Da. Within this study, a slightly modified form of GH was discovered consisting of 192 amino acids carrying an additional alanine at the N-terminus, leading to a monoisotopic mass of 22,195 Da. This was confirmed by top-down and bottom-up experiments using liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution/high accuracy mass spectrometry. Additionally, three analogues of GHRPs were identified as Gly-GHRP-6, Gly-GHRP-2 and Gly-Ipamorelin, representing the corresponding GHRP extended by a N-terminal glycine residue. The structure of these peptides was characterised by means of high resolution (tandem) mass spectrometry, and for Gly-Ipamorelin and Gly-GHRP-2 their identity was additionally confirmed by custom synthesis. Further, established in-vitro experiments provided preliminary information considering the potential metabolism after administration.


Research / Study
19 May 2018
Dehnes, Yvette
Feldmann, Ingo
Krug, Oliver
Laussmann, Tim
Malerød-Fjeld, Helle
Sickmann, Albert
Thevis, Mario
Thomas, Andreas
Other organisations
Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (DSHS) - German Sport University Cologne
European Monitoring Center for Emerging Doping Agents (EuMoCEDA)
Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften (ISAS) - Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences
Oslo universitetssykehus HF - Oslo University Hospital
Oslo, Norway: Norwegian Doping Control Laboratory
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
Doping classes
S2. Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors
GHRP-2 (pralmorelin)
Growth hormone (GH)
Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide (GHRP)
Illegal production / trade
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Date generated
23 September 2020
Date of last modification
24 September 2020
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