27 October 2023

DNP solid-state NMR reveals key details of yeast cell wall structure

DNP solid-state NMR reveals key details of yeast cell wall structure

In a collaborative international partnership, researchers from the groups SPECKO (CICECO) and Glycofoodchem (LAQV-Requimte) at the University of Aveiro, and the MagLab (Florida State University, USA) have joined in a multidisciplinary effort to unravel the role of yeast cell wall glycogen as a structural core during the brewing process.

The work, from Rita Bastos, Ildefonso Marín-Montesinos, Sónia S. Ferreira, Frédéric Mentink-Vigier, Mariana Sardo, Luís Mafra, Manuel A. Coimbra and Elisabete Coelho unveiled a detailed profile of glycosidic linkages and branching points within these complex carbohydrate structures of BSY cell walls submitted to serial repitching.

In brewer's spent yeast (BSY), it is hypothesized that the covalent linkages among cell wall polysaccharides are responsible for the insolubility of cell wall glycogen. In this work, the team combined High-Performance Anion Exchange Chromatography oligosaccharide analysis, solution-state NMR and MAS-DNP solid-state NMR techniques to elucidate the intricate features of S. pastorianus BSY's cell-wall structure.

This collaborative work highlights the relevance of exploring NMR sensitivity-enhancement techniques (MAS-DNP) to study structural details in complex systems at isotopic natural abundance, which is impossible using conventional solid-state NMR methods. In early 2024, a 400 MHz MAS-DNP spectrometer will be installed in the newly built NMR National Centre on the University of Aveiro´s campus.

The article, published in the journal “Carbohydrate Polymers” is:

Bastos, Rita; Marín-Montesinos, Ildefonso; Ferreira, Sónia; Mentink-Vigier, Frédéric;  Sardo, Mariana; Mafra, Luís; Coimbra, Manuel A.;  Coelho, Elisabete (2023). Covalent connectivity of glycogen in brewer's spent yeast cell walls revealed by enzymatic approaches and dynamic nuclear polarization NMR. Carbohydrate Polymers, 324.

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