Vol. 2, Issue 1 (2018)
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for plant profiling and disease metabolomics-fast tracking plant based drug discovery from northern India
Author(s): Mohammad Faizan Bhat, Reyaz Hassan, Mubashir H Masoodi
Abstract: Northern India is home to thousands of plant species and sadly, only a little percentage of them have been explored for medicinal properties. This is mostly because the metabolites present in these plants have not been scientifically investigated, mainly because of the prolonged and cumbersome nature of such analysis. Furthermore, the effect of these plant metabolites on specific diseases faces the same limitations of complexity and agility. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is not only an invaluable tool in chemistry but with proper modifications this powerful tool can also be rendered useful for Plant metabolite profiling and disease metabolomics; with high fidelity and speed. Metabolite Fingerprinting of plants through NMR is fast, convenient, and an effective tool for discriminating between groups of related samples and it also identifies the most important regions of the spectrum for further analysis. After rapid metabolite profiling of plants, the most prominent constituents can be further evaluated and isolated with more efficient techniques such as HPLC and LC-MS and then these isolated metabolites can be tested for their effect on diseases through NMR disease metabolomics. This technique has substantial advantage over other metabolomics techniques, such as; no prior purification is needed, both hydrophilic and lipophilic metabolites can be detected, quantitative analysis is viable, very fast, requires small sample amount, is non-invasive/non-destructive and most importantly, reproducible. Overall, NMR is an indispensable tool and is crucially needed to tap into enormous plant based drug discovery potential of medicinally bio-diverse Northern India.