- Solid-state NMR studies of globular and membrane proteins (2003)
- In the recent years, high-resolution conditions have been established in solid-state NMR by the combination of magic angle spinning, state-of-the-art r.f. pulse schemes and the introduction of ultra-high magnetic fields. Similar to what is now routine in solution-state NMR, this has opened the way for structure determination by HR-SSNMR methods. Complete structural or dynamical characterization of the biomolecule of interest is most easily achieved if multiple or even uniformly [13C, 15N]-labeled versions are studied. In a first step, experiments that allow the complete assignment of the 13C and 15N resonances have been recently designed. To date, nearly complete chemical shift assignments were reported for two well-ordered proteins, the ±-spectrin SH3 domain and the Crh protein. The SSNMR analysis of the later protein has been presented in Section 4.1. For SSNMR applications, not the molecular size or solubility, but the spectral resolution can be of crucial importance. Experimental parameters and sample inherent conditions such molecular disorder may reduce the overall spectral dispersion. In these circumstances, techniques that allow for spectral simplification without the need of elaborated biochemical procedures (of isotopelabeling) are of special importance. In Section 2, several spectral editing methods have been proposed. These methods not only select resonances due to changesin the physical and chemical environment of the nucleus but they can also directly probe molecular properties such as dynamics and conformational heterogeneity. Once the chemical shifts are available for the biomolecule of interest, methods that permit to obtain structural restraints can be applied. In the case of multiply isotope labeled proteins, such techniques can in principle result in multiple structural parameters. In Section 3.1, we have shown that, similar to solution-state NMR, secondary chemical shifts can be readily employed to study the local backbone conformation. Inaddition, distance constraints between protons may be encoded in high-resolution on rare spins like 13C and 15N and measured. Finally, carbon-carbon constraints may be probed by employing frequency selective r.f. pulse schemes. These dihedral and distance constraints may subsequently lead to the determination of protein secondary to tertiary structure from a single protein sample. In Section 4.2,we have shown that high-affinity ligand binding to membrane proteins can be investigated with solid-state NMR. Here, the neuropeptide neurotensin which binds to the Gprotein coupled receptor NTS1 in sub-nanomolar affinity was investigated.Except for the case of rhodopsin, there is currently no information on the high-resolution structure of any other GPCR or a corresponding high-affinity ligand.Our SSNMR results identify, for the first time, a distinct binding mode of neurotensin that could be of considerable relevance for further pharmacological studies. As exemplified in section 4.3, HR-SSNMR based structural studies can also assist in refining existing (X-ray or solution-state NMR) membrane-protein structures. The presented results provide, for the first time, direct experimental evidence for a double occupancy of the Q0 binding site in the ubiquinone-bc1 complex and may provide the basis for the complete 3D structural determination of the ubiquinone binding pocket. Advancements regarding sample preparation (for example, including modular labeling, in vitro expression and intein technology) and improvements in NMR hardware instrumentation could open up new areas of solid-state NMR research such as the investigation of large protein-protein complexes or the complete 3D characterization of larger membrane proteins. Solid-state NMR studies of multiply-labeled biomolecules will furthermore profit from improved procedures for calculating 3D structures, in particular in the presence of ambiguousor a limited number of structural constraints. Unlike X-ray crystallography, protein motion does not hinder solid-state NMR methods. In fact, complementary to solution-state NMR, it may provide a very efficient means to study protein folding, flexibility and function under biologically relevant conditions. Hand in hand with solution-state techniques and crystallographic methods, solid-state NMR could provide insight into protein function and the chemistry of life with unprecedented accuracy and flexibility.