University of Edinburgh
Joseph Black Building
David Brewster Road
0131 650 4742
The structure elucidation of compounds contained within complex mixtures is a challenging task. We develop multidimensional NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry methods, in combination with chemical modification schemes, to investigate the most complex mixtures on earth: humic substances (HS) - heterogeneous mixtures containing thousands of organic molecules produced by the degradation of plant and animal residues.
Carbohydrate structures and protein-carbohydrate interactions
Glycosaminoglycans isolated from marine environment are complex, heterogeneous polysaccharides that represent a considerable challenge for the NMR structure determination. We study their structure in collaboration with GlycoMar.
We study conformation of carbohydrates using scalar and residual dipolar coupling constants (image on the left, below). We also investigate the protein-carbohydrate interactions and study complexes between glycosaminoglycans and selectins, aswell as proteins of the complement (image on the right, below).
Using our 400 to 800 MHz NMR spectrometers equipped with cryoprobes we are developing NMR methodologies applicable for chemical and biological applications.
Bell, N.G.A., Murray, L., Graham, M., Uhrín, D., NMR methodology for complex mixture "separation", Chem. Commun. 50, 1694-1697 (2014).
Bell, N.G.A, Rigg, G., Masters, S., Bella, J., Uhrín, D., Detecting low-level flexibility using residual dipolar couplings: a study of the conformation of cellobiose, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys.15, 18223-18234 (2013).
Morgan, H.P., Schmidt, C.Q., Guariento, M., Blaum, B.S., Gillespie, D., Herbert, A.P., Kavanagh, D., Mertens, H.D.T., Svergun, D.I., Johansson, C.M., Uhrín, D., Barlow, P.N., Hannan, J.P., Structural basis for engagement by complement factor H of C3b on a self-surface, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 18, 463–470 (2011).
Blaum, B.S., Deakin, J.A., Johansson, C.M., Herbert, A.P., Barlow, P.N., Lyon, M., Uhrín, D., Lysine and arginine side-chains in glycosaminoglycan-protein complexes investigated by NMR, cross-linking and mass spectrometry. A case study of the Factor H/heparin interaction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 6374-6381 (2010).