Natural Evolution of NMR Methodology?
How a new approach accurately determines the structure and stereochemistry of natural products that confound conventional methods
Stephanie Sutton | | Quick Read
Natural products are a common source of drugs (many antibiotics, painkillers, and even cancer drugs are derived from natural products), but before natural products can be exploited, their structures and stereochemistry must be elucidated. And that’s (unsurprisingly) easier said than done.
“Besides the X-ray diffraction, which can only be applied to crystallizable molecules, chemists usually use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for structure determination. Most employed NMR parameters rely on the measurement of protons. But for molecules that only contain few protons or flexible molecules that need more NMR data to define their conformational spaces, conventional proton-based NMR methods may not determine their structure and stereochemistry correctly,” says Han Sun, a researcher at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Germany.
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