1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy-Based Methods for the Quantification of Proteins in Urine

Ivan Vuckovic, Aleksandar Denic, M. Cristine Charlesworth, Milovan Šuvakov, Shane Bobart, John C. Lieske, Fernando C. Fervenza, Slobodan Macura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We described several postprocessing methods to measure protein concentrations in human urine from existing1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomic spectra: (1) direct spectral integration, (2) integration of NCD spectra (NCD = 1D NOESY-CPMG), (3) integration of SMolESY-filtered 1D NOESY spectra (SMolESY = Small Molecule Enhancement SpectroscopY), (4) matching protein patterns, and (5) TSP line integral and TSP linewidth. Postprocessing consists of (a) removal of the metabolite signals (demetabolization) and (b) extraction of the protein integral from the demetabolized spectra. For demetabolization, we tested subtraction of the spin-echo 1D spectrum (CPMG) from the regular 1D spectrum and low-pass filtering of 1D NOESY by its derivatives (c-SMolESY). Because of imperfections in the demetabolization, in addition to direct integration, we extracted protein integrals by the piecewise comparison of demetabolized spectra with the reference spectrum of albumin. We analyzed 42 urine samples with protein content known from the bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay. We found excellent correlation between the BCA assay and the demetabolized NMR integrals. We have provided conversion factors for calculating protein concentrations in mg/mL from spectral integrals in mM. Additionally, we found the trimethylsilyl propionate (TSP, NMR standard) spectral linewidth and the TSP integral to be good indicators of protein concentration. The described methods increase the information content of urine NMR metabolomics spectra by informing clinical studies of protein concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13177-13186
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number39
StatePublished - Oct 5 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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