Technical University Munich, Garching, Germany
Q: WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF YOUR LAB’S RESEARCH?
A: Our group is interested in bacterial natural product chemistry, with projects ranging from the directed discovery of new natural products by genome mining and heterologous pathway expression, the elucidation of individual biocatalytic reactions by in vitro studies and the application of the respective biosynthetic enzymes in organic synthesis. This also involves significant synthetic work, for example to prepare enzyme substrates, validate natural product structure elucidation, or to realize chemo-enzymatic natural product total syntheses.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR PREVIOUS WORK FLOW OR CHALLENGES?
A: While NMR spectroscopy is an analytical tool that is meanwhile accessible to chemical research practically at any time, making standard 1H NMR experiments available within minutes to few hours after a reaction work up, MS spectrometry can sometimes be challenging to conduct sufficiently fast to allow for an efficient work flow: MS equipment in academia is typically located in service units with relatively few machines for whole departments, often leading to waiting times of one to several days for an analysis. While MS would be the perfect tool to directly monitor the success of a chemical reaction in situ or to quickly evaluate the outcome of enzymatic transformations, above restrictions prevent this tool from being regularly and efficiently used.
Q: WHY DID YOU INCORPORATE THE EXPRESSION CMS INTO YOUR LABORATORY?
A: We integrated the expression CMS into our analytical equipment to obtain fast information on our synthetic and biocatalytic reactions, as well as on the content of whole bacterial raw extracts. While the machine is usually used for direct injections and for recording of MS spectra from TLC reaction controls using the Plate Express system, LC-MS measurements of enzymatic reaction set-ups and raw extracts are run overnight. To our surprise, even the detection of post-translational modifications on small proteins can accurately be detected with the CMS, providing us with an additional tool even for protein characterization. This now gives us fast initial MS data for all applications important to our lab, thus significantly streamlining our research work.
Q: WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO PURCHASE THE EXPRESSION CMS?
A: The expression CMS is the perfect MS system for any research laboratory involved in synthetic organic chemistry and chemical analytics of small molecules to proteins. The system is easy to use and maintain and can thus be used by many individuals. It is therefore particularly well-suited for academic research laboratories.