Lee, J.H. and S. Cavagnero, A Novel Tri-Enzyme System in Combination with Laser-Driven NMR Enables Efficient Nuclear Polarization of Biomolecules in Solution. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2013. 117(20): p. 6069-6081.
NMR is an extremely powerful, yet insensitive technique. Many available nuclear polarization methods that address sensitivity are not directly applicable to low-concentration biomolecules in liquids and are often too invasive. Photochemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization (photo-CIDNP) is no exception. It needs high-power laser irradiation, which often leads to sample degradation, and photosensitizer reduction. Here, we introduce a novel tri-enzyme system that significantly overcomes the above challenges, rendering photo-CIDNP a practically applicable technique for NMR sensitivity enhancement in solution. The specificity of the nitrate reductase (NR) enzyme is exploited to selectively in situ reoxidize the reduced photo-CIDNP dye FMNH2. At the same time, the oxygen-scavenging ability of glucose oxidase (GO) and catalase (CAT) is synergistically employed to prevent sample photodegradation. The resulting tri-enzyme system (NR-GO-CAT) enables prolonged sensitivity-enhanced data collection in 1D and 2D heteronuclear NMR, leading to the highest photo-CIDNP sensitivity enhancement (48-fold relative to SE-HSQC) achieved to date for amino acids and polypeptides in solution. NR-GO-CAT extends the concentration limit of photo-CIDNP NMR down to the low micromolar range. In addition, sensitivity (relative to the reference SE-HSQC) is found to be inversely proportional to sample concentration, paving the way for the future analysis of even more diluted samples.