Monitoring Deuterium Uptake in Single Bacterial Cells via Two-Dimensional Raman Correlation Spectroscopy

in: Analytical Chemistry (2021)
Azemtsop, Georgette; Taubert, Martin; Guo, Shuxia; Bocklitz, Thomas W.; Küsel, Kirsten; Rösch, Petra; Popp, Jürgen
Raman-stable isotope labeling using heavy water (Raman-D2O) is attracting great interest as a fast technique with various applications ranging from the identification of pathogens in medical samples to the determination of microbial activity in the environment. Despite its widespread applications, little is known about the fundamental processes of hydrogen−deuterium (H/D) exchange, which are crucial for understanding molecular interactions in microorganisms. By combining two-dimensional (2D) correlation spectroscopy and Raman deuterium labeling, we have investigated H/D exchange in bacterial cells under time dependence. Most C−H stretching signals decreased in intensity over time, prior to the formation of the C−D stretching vibration signals. The intensity of the C−D signal gradually increased over time, and the shape of the C−D signal was more uniform after longer incubation times. Deuterium uptake showed high variability between the bacterial genera and mainly led to an observable labeling of methylene and methyl groups. Thus, the C−D signal encompassed a combination of symmetric and antisymmetric CD2 and CD3 stretching vibrations, depending on the bacterial genera. The present study allowed for the determination of the sequential order of deuterium incorporation into the functional groups of proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids and hence understanding the process of biomolecule synthesis and the growth strategies of different bacterial taxa. We present the combination of Raman-D2O labeling and 2D correlation spectroscopy as a promising approach to gain a fundamental understanding of molecular interactions in biological systems.

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