Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NMR-based structural biology enhanced by dynamic nuclear polarization at high magnetic field


Koers, E.J., et al., NMR-based structural biology enhanced by dynamic nuclear polarization at high magnetic field. J Biomol NMR, 2014. 60(2-3): p. 157-68.


Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) has become a powerful method to enhance spectroscopic sensitivity in the context of magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We show that, compared to DNP at lower field (400 MHz/263 GHz), high field DNP (800 MHz/527 GHz) can significantly enhance spectral resolution and allows exploitation of the paramagnetic relaxation properties of DNP polarizing agents as direct structural probes under magic angle spinning conditions. Applied to a membrane-embedded K(+) channel, this approach allowed us to refine the membrane-embedded channel structure and revealed conformational substates that are present during two different stages of the channel gating cycle. High-field DNP thus offers atomic insight into the role of molecular plasticity during the course of biomolecular function in a complex cellular environment.