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Practical Guidelines to 13C-based NMR Metabolomics



Arthur S. Edison, Adrien Le Guennec, Frank Delaglio, Eriks Kupce


We present an overview of 13C-based NMR metabolomics. At first glance, the low sensitivity of 13C relative to 1H NMR might seem like too great an obstacle to use this approach. However, there are several advantages to 13C NMR, whether samples can be isotopically enriched or not. At natural abundance, peaks are sharp and largely resolved, and peak frequencies are more stable to pH and other sample conditions. Statistical approaches can be used to obtain C-C and C-H correlation maps, which greatly aid in compound identification. With 13C isotopic enrichment, other experiments are possible, including both 13C-J-RES and INADEQUATE, which can be used for de novo identification of metabolites not in databases. NMR instrumentation and software has significantly improved, and probes are now commercially available that can record useful natural abundance 13C 1D spectra from real metabolomics samples in 2 hours or less. Probe technology continues to improve, and the next generation should improve this performance even more. Combined with new methods of simultaneous data acquisition, which allows for two or more 1D or 2D NMR experiments to be collected using multiple receivers, very rich datasets can be collected in a reasonable amount of time that should improve metabolomics data analysis and compound identification.
NMR-Based Metabolomics, in book series Methods in Molecular Biology
Publisher Info
Springer, New York, NY


13C NMR detection, metabolomics, natural abundance 13C, isotopic labeling, multiple receivers, parallel NMR, simultaneous acquisition, PANACEA, INADEQUATE, 13C J-RES


Edison, A. , Le Guennec, A. , Delaglio, F. and Kupce, E. (2019), Practical Guidelines to 13C-based NMR Metabolomics, Springer, New York, NY, [online], (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created August 28, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021