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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Dec;72(12):4966-70.

High resolution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance studies of intact yeast cells.


High resolution 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra at 145.7 MHZ are presented for intact yeast cells. Several peaks are resolved and assigned. They include the middle phosphate peaks from long chain or cyclic polyphosphates. Our results are consistent with the suggestion that these polyphosphates act as a phosphate store in the cell. We have also been able to measure cytoplasmic pH using the orthophosphate peak inside the cell, as compared with outside the cell. The results show that yeast cells maintain their cytoplasmic pH around 6.3. This value is considerably higher than the acidic extracellular pH at which they normally live. These preliminary results indicate that 31P NMR at 145.7 MHZ can be a rapid, informative, and non-invasive method for probing biochemical events within living cells.

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