Biochemical phosphates observed using hyperpolarized 31P in physiological aqueous solutions

Atara Nardi-Schreiber, Ayelet Gamliel, Talia Harris, Gal Sapir, Jacob Sosna, J. Moshe Gomori, Rachel Katz-Brull*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The dissolution-dynamic nuclear polarization technology had previously enabled nuclear magnetic resonance detection of various nuclei in a hyperpolarized state. Here, we show the hyperpolarization of 31P nuclei in important biological phosphates (inorganic phosphate and phosphocreatine) in aqueous solutions. The hyperpolarized inorganic phosphate showed an enhancement factor >11,000 (at 5.8 T, 9.3% polarization) in D2O (T1 29.4 s). Deuteration and the solution composition and pH all affected the lifetime of the hyperpolarized state. This capability opens up avenues for real-time monitoring of phosphate metabolism, distribution, and pH sensing in the live body without ionizing radiation. Immediate changes in the microenvironment pH have been detected here in a cell-free system via the chemical shift of hyperpolarized inorganic phosphate. Because the 31P nucleus is 100% naturally abundant, future studies on hyperpolarized phosphates will not require expensive isotope labeling as is usually required for hyperpolarization of other substrates.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number341
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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