Chappuis, Q., et al., Hyperpolarized Water to Study Protein–Ligand Interactions. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2015. 6(9): p. 1674-1678.
The affinity between a chosen target protein and small molecules is a key aspect of drug discovery. Screening by popular NMR methods such as Water-LOGSY suffers from low sensitivity and from false positives caused by aggregated or denatured proteins. This work demonstrates that the sensitivity of Water-LOGSY can be greatly boosted by injecting hyperpolarized water into solutions of proteins and ligands. Ligand binding can be detected in a few seconds, whereas about 30 min is usually required without hyperpolarization. Hyperpolarized water also enhances proton signals of proteins at concentrations below 20 ?M so that one can verify in a few seconds whether the proteins remain intact or have been denatured