R Balzan, L Fernandes, A Comment, L Pidial, B Tavitian, PR Vasos
J Vis Exp
The main limitation of NMR-based investigations is low sensitivity. This prompts for long acquisition times, thus preventing real-time NMR measurements of metabolic transformations. Hyperpolarization via dissolution DNP circumvents part of the sensitivity issues thanks to the large out-of-equilibrium nuclear magnetization stemming from the electron-to-nucleus spin polarization transfer. The high NMR signal obtained can be used to monitor chemical reactions in real time. The downside of hyperpolarized NMR resides in the limited time window available for signal acquisition, which is usually on the order of the nuclear spin longitudinal relaxation time constant, T1, or, in favorable cases, on the order of the relaxation time constant associated with the singlet-state of coupled nuclei, TLLS. Cellular uptake of endogenous molecules and metabolic rates can provide essential information on tumor development and drug response. Numerous previous hyperpolarized NMR studies have demonstrated the relevancy of pyruvate as a metabolic substrate for monitoring enzymatic activity in vivo. This work provides a detailed description of the experimental setup and methods required for the study of enzymatic reactions, in particular the pyruvate-to-lactate conversion rate in presence of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), by hyperpolarized NMR.