Research ArticleENGINEERING

Singlet-filtered NMR spectroscopy

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Science Advances  21 Feb 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 8, eaaz1955
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz1955


Selectively studying parts of proteins and metabolites in tissue with nuclear magnetic resonance promises new insights into molecular structures or diagnostic approaches. Nuclear spin singlet states allow the selection of signals from chemical moieties of interest in proteins or metabolites while suppressing background signal. This selection process is based on the electron-mediated coupling between two nuclear spins and their difference in resonance frequency. We introduce a generalized and versatile pulsed NMR experiment that allows populating singlet states on a broad scale of coupling patterns. This approach allowed us to filter signals from proton pairs in the Alzheimer’s disease–related b-amyloid 40 peptide and in metabolites in brain matter. In particular, for glutamine/glutamate, we have discovered a long-lived state in tissue without the typically required singlet sustaining by radiofrequency irradiation. We believe that these findings will open up new opportunities to study metabolites with a view on future in vivo applications.

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