Identification and synthesis of a novel selenium-sulfur amino acid found in selenized yeast: Rapid indirect detection NMR methods for characterizing low-level organoselenium compounds in complex matrices

Eric Block, Richard S Glass, Neil E. Jacobsen, Sherida Johnson, Chethaka Kahakachchi, Rafal Kamiński, Alexandra Skowrońska, Harriet Totoe Boakye, Julian F. Tyson, Peter C. Uden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


After proteolytic digestion, aqueous extraction, and derivatization with diethyl pyrocarbonate or ethyl chloroformate, HPLC-inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-MS, GC-atomic emission detection (AED), and GC-MS analysis of high-selenium yeast stored at room temperature for more than 10 years showed selenomethionine as the major Se product along with substantial amounts of selenomethionine selenoxide hydrate and the previously unreported selenoamino acid having a Se-S bond, S-(methylseleno)cysteine. The identity of the latter compound was confirmed by synthesis. The natural product was shown to be different from a synthetic sample of the isomeric compound Se-(methylthio)- selenocysteine. Selenium-specific NMR spectroscopic methods were developed to directly analyze the aqueous extracts of the hydrolyzed selenized yeast without derivatization or separation. Selenomethionine and S-(methylseleno)cysteine were identified by 77Se-1H HMQC-TOCSY experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3761-3771
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 16 2004



  • S-(methylseleno)cysteine
  • Selenized yeast
  • Selenoamino acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)

Cite this