Category Archives: Our Research

These are short reports about the research activities carried out at the SeRMN.
In them we describe the work done in collaboration with research groups, to summarize communications presented at scientific meetings, to report visits and stages at other laboratories or facilities, and to comment the meetings and workshops we have attended.

SeRMN contribution to SMASH Small Molecule NMR Conference

Kumar Motiram-Corral is presenting at SMASH 2021 Conference a talk entitled In situ Enantiospecific Detection of Multiple Metabolites in Mixtures using NMR Spectroscopy, related to some of our recent research work. The presentation will be 1st of September in the section “Unveiling the Unknown – New Methods in Structure Elucidation“.

L. T. Kuhn, K. Motiram-Corral, T. J. Athersuch, T. Parella, M. Pérez-Trujillo, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59 (2020) 23615.

SeRMN contribution at EUROMAR 2021 Conference

Some of our recent research work was presented at the European NMR meeting Euromar 2021 that was going to take place at Portoroz (Slovenia), but which was finally virtual from the 5th to the 8th of July 2021.

· Míriam Pérez-Trujillo presented the talk In situ Enantiospecific Detection of Multiple Metabolites in Mixtures using NMR Spectroscopy in the “Metabolomics” session. In this talk our last advances in enantiodifferentiation using NMR were shown and discussed.

To date, the enantiospecific analysis of mixtures necessarily requires prior separation of the individual components. The simultaneous enantiospecific detection of multiple chiral molecules in a mixture represents a major challenge, which would lead to a significantly better understanding of the underlying biological processes; e.g. via enantiospecifically analyzing metabolites in their native environment. Here, we report on the first in situ enantiospecific detection of a thirty-nine-component mixture. As a proof of concept, eighteen essential amino acids (AAs) at physiological concentrations were simultaneously enantiospecifically detected using NMR spectroscopy and a chiral solvating agent. This work represents a first step towards the simultaneous multicomponent enantiospecific analysis of complex mixtures, a capability that will have substantial impact on metabolism studies, metabolic phenotyping, chemical reaction monitoring, and many other fields where complex mixtures containing chiral molecules require efficient characterization.

L. T. Kuhn, K. Motiram-Corral, T. J. Athersuch, T. Parella, M. Pérez-Trujillo, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59 (2020) 23615.

SeRMN contributions at 10th GERMN biennial /9th IberAmerican/7th Iberian NMR Meeting

Some of the SeRMN staff has presented our recent research work at the biannual Spanish and IberAmerican NMR meeting, 10th GERMN biennial /9th IberAmerican/7th Iberian NMR Meeting. This year it was a virtual meeting taking place from 26 to 29 April 2021.

Pau Nolis presented an oral communication entitled “Reducing experimental time using Multiple Fid Acquisition“. P. Nolis, K. Motiram-Corral, M. Pérez-Trujillo, T. Parella.

Speeding-up NMR molecular analysis is an important research field which has been continuously advancing since NMR early days. The relevant benefits are clear and evident: i) reduce analysis time per sample => reduce analysis cost; ii) gain spectrometer time to analyze new samples => improve spectrometer efficiency. Multiple FID Acquisition (MFA) strategy consists in the design of NMR pulse sequence experiments accommodating N acquisition windows, each registering different relevant structural information. This strategy is faster
than perform a traditional sequential acquisition of N separated experiments. Several design strategies and practical experiments will be shown and discussed.

Míriam Pérez-Trujillo presented an oral communication entitled “Simultaneous Enantiospecific Detection of Multiple Metabolites in Mixtures using NMR Spectroscopy“. L. T. Kuhn, K. Motiram-Corral, T. J. Athersuch, T. Parella, M. Pérez-Trujillo.

Chirality plays a fundamental role in nature, but its detection and quantification still face many limitations. To date, the enantiospecific analysis of mixtures necessarily requires prior separation of the individual components. The simultaneous enantiospecific detection of multiple chiral molecules in a mixture represents a major challenge, which would lead to a
significantly better understanding of the underlying biological processes; e.g. via enantiospecifically analyzing metabolites in their native environment. Here, we report on the first in situ enantiospecific detection of a thirty-ninecomponent mixture. As a proof of concept, eighteen essential amino acids (AAs) at physiological concentrations were simultaneously enantiospecifically detected using NMR spectroscopy and a chiral solvating agent. This work
represents a first step towards the simultaneous multicomponent enantiospecific analysis of complex mixtures, a capability that will have substantial impact on metabolism studies, metabolic phenotyping, chemical reaction monitoring, and many other fields where complex mixtures containing chiral molecules require efficient characterization.

Special Issue: NMR-Based Metabolomics

Special Issue: NMR-Based Metabolomics, by Míriam Pérez-Trujillo* and Toby J. Athersuch*

Molecules2021, 26(11), 3283; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113283

This article belongs to the Special Issue NMR-Based Metabolomics

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy remains one of the core analytical platforms for metabolomics, providing complementary chemical information to others, such as mass spectrometry, and offering particular advantages in some areas of research on account of its inherent robustness, reproducibility, and phenomenal dynamic range. While routine experimental protocols for profiling and related statistical analysis pipelines have been established, they often present considerable challenges to the analyst, including spectral overlap, accurate and precise quantification, and chemical shift variation. Consequently, there is still much activity across all areas of NMR spectroscopic analysis in relation to metabolomics. Furthermore, there remain many biological systems and sample types that have not been extensively explored using NMR spectroscopy-based metabolomics.In this Special Issue, several advances in methodology, and new applications in the field of NMR-based metabolomics, have been presented. In addition, the SI includes authoritative review articles focused on the state-of-the-art of quantitative NMR spectroscopy in biomedical metabolomics applications, and novel applications in the agri-food sector.

Simultaneous Enantiospecific Detection of Multiple Compounds in Mixtures using NMR Spectroscopy

Simultaneous Enantiospecific Detection of Multiple Compounds in Mixtures using NMR Spectroscopy, by Lars T. Kuhn, Kumar Motiram-Corral, Toby J. Athersuch, Teodor Parella, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo*

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2020 / doi:10.1002/anie.202011727

Chirality plays a fundamental role in nature, but its detection and quantification still face many limitations. To date, the enantiospecific analysis of mixtures necessarily requires prior separation of the individual components. The simultaneous enantiospecific detection of multiple chiral molecules in a mixture represents a major challenge, which would lead to a significantly better understanding of the underlying biological processes; e.g. via enantiospecifically analysing metabolites in their native environment. Here, we report on the first in situ enantiospecific detection of a thirty‐nine‐component mixture. As a proof of concept, eighteen essential amino acids at physiological concentrations were simultaneously enantiospecifically detected using NMR spectroscopy and a chiral solvating agent. This work represents a first step towards the simultaneous multicomponent enantiospecific analysis of complex mixtures, a capability that will have substantial impact on metabolism studies, metabolic phenotyping, chemical reaction monitoring, and many other fields where complex mixtures containing chiral molecules require efficient characterisation.

Simultaneous enantiospecific detection of a mixture of amino acids by NMR spectroscopy

This work has been selected to be presented as a talk at 2021 scientific conferences:

· 42nd FGMR (German Chemical Society, Magnetic Resonance Section) Annual Discussion Meeting – Virtual, Sep 27 to Oct 1.

· SMASH- Small Molecule NMR Conference 2021 – Virtual, Aug 30 to Sep 2.

· Euromar 2021 Conference – Virtual, 5 to 8 July.

· 10th GERMN (Spanish NMR group of the Real Sociedad Española de Química) biennial & 9th IberoAmerican NMR Meeting – Virtual, 26 to 19 April.

Electrochemical dehalogenation of dibromomethane and 1,2‐dibromoethane to non‐toxic products using a carbon fiber brush electrode

Wiley Chemistry - उत्पादन/सेवा - १,०९१ वटा फोटोहरू | Facebook

by David Fernández‐Verdejo, Mira LK Sulonen, Míriam Pérez‐Trujillo, Ernest Marco‐Urrea, Albert Guisasola, Paqui Blánquez,  J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/jctb.6542

Dibromomethane (DBM) and 1,2‐dibromoethane (DBA) are two brominated volatile contaminants used in several industrial applications which are often detected in groundwater. The electrochemical degradation of DBM and DBA was studied at different cathode potentials (−0.8, −1 and −1.2 V versus Standard Hydrogen Electrode) in aqueous solution using an inexpensive graphite fiber brush electrode.

The degradation followed first‐order kinetics with respect to the nominal concentration of the brominated compounds, and the kinetic constant increased concomitantly with the decrease of the cathode potential. During the electrochemical dehalogenation 96.8% and 99.8% of the bromide in DBM and DBA was released as bromine ions, respectively. The main non‐brominated compounds detected during the degradation of DBM and DBA were methane and ethene, respectively. In addition, traces of formic acid for DBM and acetic acid for DBA degradation were detected by NMR spectroscopy. The non‐toxicity of the effluent was confirmed by a Microtox test. The efficient electrochemical degradation of DBM and DBA and the lack of toxic products open the door for a simple and non‐toxic electrochemical approach for removing aliphatic brominated compounds from aquifers and other water sources.

31P-NMR Metabolomics Revealed Species-Specific Use of Phosphorous in Trees

31P-NMR Metabolomics Revealed Species-Specific Use of Phosphorous in Trees of a French Guiana Rainforest, by Gargallo-Garriga, A.; Sardans, J.; Llusià, J.; Peguero, G.; Asensio, D.; Ogaya, R.; Urbina, I.; Langenhove, L.V.; Verryckt, L.T.; Courtois, E.A.; Stahl, C.; Grau, O.; Urban, O.; Janssens, I.A.; Nolis, P.; Pérez-Trujillo, M.; Parella, T.; Peñuelas, J.  Molecules 202025, 3960. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25173960

Productivity of tropical lowland moist forests is often limited by availability and functional allocation of phosphorus (P) that drives competition among tree species and becomes a key factor in determining forestall community diversity. We used non-target 31P-NMR metabolic profiling to study the foliar P-metabolism of trees of a French Guiana rainforest. The objective was to test the hypotheses that P-use is species-specific, and that species diversity relates to species P-use and concentrations of P-containing compounds, including inorganic phosphates, orthophosphate monoesters and diesters, phosphonates and organic polyphosphates. We found that tree species explained the 59% of variance in 31P-NMR metabolite profiling of leaves. A principal component analysis showed that tree species were separated along PC 1 and PC 2 of detected P-containing compounds, which represented a continuum going from high concentrations of metabolites related to non-active P and P-storage, low total P concentrations and high N:P ratios, to high concentrations of P-containing metabolites related to energy and anabolic metabolism, high total P concentrations and low N:P ratios. These results highlight the species-specific use of P and the existence of species-specific P-use niches that are driven by the distinct species-specific position in a continuum in the P-allocation from P-storage compounds to P-containing molecules related to energy and anabolic metabolism.

This article belongs to the Special Issue:

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/molecules/special_issues/nmr_metabolomics

Evidence of Enantiomers of Spiroglycol. Distinction by Using α,α′-Bis(trifluoromethyl)-9,10-anthracenedimethanol as a Chiral Solvating Agent and by Derivatization with Chiral Acids

Albert Virgili, Albert Granados, Carlos Jaime, Rosa Suárez-López, Teodor Parella and Eva Monteagudo

Cite this: J. Org. Chem. 2020, 85, 11, 7247–7257 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.joc.0c00578

Herein, we perform for the first time a preliminary NMR and computational study of the spiroglycol structure. Spiroglycol is a highly symmetrical molecule, but it should be chiral due to the presence of a chiral axis. The presence of two enantiomers was demonstrated performing NMR enantiodifferentiation experiments using α,α′-bis(trifluoromethyl)-9,10-anthracenedimethanol (ABTE) as a chiral solvating agent (CSA). The addition of 0.6 equiv of ABTE allows the differentiation of several spiroglycol proton signals. The lack of resolution observed in the proton spectrum can be tackled through the corresponding 13C NMR spectrum where a significant enantiodifferentiation at the spirocarbon atom was observed. In order to physically separate both enantiomers, a SPG derivatization with camphorsulfonic acid and Mosher’s acid was performed affording the corresponding diastereoisomeric ester mixtures. Computations performed with the Gaussian16 package showed that the enantiodifferentiation is mainly due to the different compound thermodynamics stability.

Measuring Long-Range Heteronuclear NMR Correlations in Natural Products

LR-HSQMBC versus LR-selHSQMBC: Enhancing the Observation ofTiny Long-Range Heteronuclear NMR Correlations

Kumar Motiram-Corral, Pau Nolis, Josep Saurí, and Teodor Parella

https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.0c00058

selHSQMBC

ABSTRACT:The detection of ultra-long-range (4JCHand higher) heteronuclear connectivities can complement the conventionaluse of HMBC/HSQMBC data in structure elucidation NMR studies of proton-deficient natural products, where two-bond andthree-bond correlations are usually observed. The performance of the selHSQMBC experiment with respect to its broadbandHSQMBC counterpart is evaluated. Despite its frequency-selectivity nature, selHSQMBC efficiently prevents any unwanted signalphase and intensity modulations due to passive proton−proton coupling constants typically involved in HSQMBC. As a result,selHSQMBC offers a significant sensitivity enhancement and provides pure in-phase multiplets, improving the detection levels forshort- and long-range cross-peaks corresponding to small heteronuclear coupling values. This is particularly relevant for experimentsoptimized to smallnJCHvalues (2−3 Hz), referred to as LR-selHSQMBC, where key cross-peaks that are not visible in the equivalentbroadband LR-HSQMBC spectrum can become observable in optimum conditions.

Job offer at CIBER for the INSPiRE-MED project

We are recruiting an Early Stage Researcher to work on a decision-support system based on MRSI data at 3T, for glioblastoma therapy response follow- up, as part of the INSPiRE-MED European project.

We seek a highly motivated and qualified individual as Early Stage Researcher for a three-year applied research project. The successful candidate will contribute to the development of advanced biomedical research tools in the field of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging, and its application to the clinical day-to-day practice.

Project description: This position is one of the 15 ESR positions of the INSPiRE-MED European Training Network, which focuses on the development of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and MR Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) combined with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), enhanced by machine learning techniques.

The main aim of the PhD project (ESR12) will be development of a Machine Learning medical decision-support system based on MRSI data at 3T, for glioblastoma therapy response follow-up.

The ESR will develop a novel medical decision support system (MDSS) focused on glioblastoma therapy response follow-up, based on magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) data, able to take and process data from multiple MRSI formats and centres. For each patient’s MRSI, the MDSS should deliver a nosological or classification image, ready to be fused with images of other MR modalities from the same patient. The DSS will be integrated into the interface of the academic version of jMRUI, in a way that allows clinicians evaluate the system with their data. An important part of of the project will be the incorporation of automated MRSI artifact detection and removal tools.

Continue reading Job offer at CIBER for the INSPiRE-MED project