C isotopomer analysis of glutamate by heteronuclear multiple quantum coherence-total correlation spectroscopy (HMQC-TOCSY)

FEBS Lett. 1998 Dec 4;440(3):382-6. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(98)01491-4.


13C has become an important tracer isotope for studies of intermediary metabolism. Information about relative flux through pathways is encoded by the distribution of 13C isotopomers in an intermediate pool such as glutamate. This information is commonly decoded either by mass spectrometry or by measuring relative multiplet areas in a 13C NMR spectrum. We demonstrate here that groups of glutamate 13C isotopomers may be quantified by indirect detection of protons in a 2D HMQC-TOCSY NMR spectrum and that fitting of these data to a metabolic model provides an identical measure of the 13C fractional enrichment of acetyl-CoA and relative anaplerotic flux to that given by direct 13C NMR analysis. The sensitivity gain provided by HMQC-TOCSY spectroscopy will allow an extension of 13C isotopomer analysis to tissue samples not amenable to direct 13C detection (approximately 10 mg soleus muscle) and to tissue metabolites other than glutamate that are typically present at lower concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Glutamic Acid / analysis*
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Glutamic Acid