The interest of scientistsin analyzing items of World CulturalHeritage has been exponentially increasing since the beginning ofthe new millennium. These studies have grown considerably in tandemwith the development and use of sophisticated and sensitive technologiessuch as high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) and the non-invasiveand non-damaging technique, known under the acronym EVA (ethylene-vinylacetate). Here, we report the results of the MS characterization ofthe peptides and proteins harvested by the EVA technology appliedto three letters written in 1457 and 1475 by the voivode of Wallachia,Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Dracula. The discriminationof the "original" endogenous peptides from contaminantones was obtained by monitoring their different levels of deamidationand of other diagenetic chemical modifications. The characterizationof the ancient proteins extracted from these documents allowed usto explore the environmental conditions, in the second half of the15th century, of the Wallachia, a region considered as a meeting pointfor soldiers, migrants, and travelers that probably carried not onlytrade goods and cultural traditions but also diseases and epidemics.In addition, the identification of many human peptides and proteinsharvested from the letters allowed us to uncover more about Vlad Draculathe Impaler. Particularly, the experimental data show that he probablysuffered from inflammatory processes of the respiratory tract and/orof the skin. In addition, proteomics data, although not exhaustive,suggest that, according to some stories, he might also have sufferedfrom a pathological condition called hemolacria, that is, he couldshed tears admixed with blood. It is worth noting that more medievalpeople may have touched these documents, which cannot be denied, butit is also presumable that the most prominent ancient proteins shouldbe related to Prince Vlad the Impaler, who wrote and signed theseletters. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange withthe identifier & LeftAngleBracket;PXD041350 & RightAngleBracket;.

Count Dracula Resurrected: Proteomic Analysis of Vlad III the Impaler's Documents by EVA Technology and Mass Spectrometry

Di Francesco, Antonella;Cucina, Annamaria;Saletti, Rosaria;Cunsolo, Vincenzo
2023-01-01

Abstract

The interest of scientistsin analyzing items of World CulturalHeritage has been exponentially increasing since the beginning ofthe new millennium. These studies have grown considerably in tandemwith the development and use of sophisticated and sensitive technologiessuch as high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) and the non-invasiveand non-damaging technique, known under the acronym EVA (ethylene-vinylacetate). Here, we report the results of the MS characterization ofthe peptides and proteins harvested by the EVA technology appliedto three letters written in 1457 and 1475 by the voivode of Wallachia,Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Dracula. The discriminationof the "original" endogenous peptides from contaminantones was obtained by monitoring their different levels of deamidationand of other diagenetic chemical modifications. The characterizationof the ancient proteins extracted from these documents allowed usto explore the environmental conditions, in the second half of the15th century, of the Wallachia, a region considered as a meeting pointfor soldiers, migrants, and travelers that probably carried not onlytrade goods and cultural traditions but also diseases and epidemics.In addition, the identification of many human peptides and proteinsharvested from the letters allowed us to uncover more about Vlad Draculathe Impaler. Particularly, the experimental data show that he probablysuffered from inflammatory processes of the respiratory tract and/orof the skin. In addition, proteomics data, although not exhaustive,suggest that, according to some stories, he might also have sufferedfrom a pathological condition called hemolacria, that is, he couldshed tears admixed with blood. It is worth noting that more medievalpeople may have touched these documents, which cannot be denied, butit is also presumable that the most prominent ancient proteins shouldbe related to Prince Vlad the Impaler, who wrote and signed theseletters. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange withthe identifier & LeftAngleBracket;PXD041350 & RightAngleBracket;.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/574331
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