Research Papers

Journal of Biomolecular NMR

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 323-334

First online:

Support of1H NMR assignments in proteins by biosynthetically directed fractional13C-labeling

  • Thomas SzyperskiAffiliated withInstitut für Molekularbiologie und Biophysik, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule-Hönggerberg
  • , Dario NeriAffiliated withInstitut für Molekularbiologie und Biophysik, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule-Hönggerberg
  • , Barbara LeitingAffiliated withInstitut für Molekularbiologie und Biophysik, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule-Hönggerberg
  • , Gottfried OttingAffiliated withInstitut für Molekularbiologie und Biophysik, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule-Hönggerberg
  • , Kurt WüthrichAffiliated withInstitut für Molekularbiologie und Biophysik, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule-Hönggerberg

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Summary

Biosynthetically directed fractional incorporation of13C into proteins results in nonrandom13C-labeling patterns that can be investigated by analysis of the13C−13C scalar coupling fine structures in heteronuclear13C−1H or homonuclear13C−13C correlation experiments. Previously this approach was used for obtaining stereospecific1H and13C assignments of the diastereotopic methyl groups of valine and leucine. In the present paper we investigate to what extent the labeling patterns are characteristic for other individual amino acids or groups of amino acids, and can thus be used to support the1H spin-system identifications. Studies of the hydrolysates of fractionally13C-labeled proteins showed that the 59 aliphatic carbon positions in the 20 proteinogenic amino acids exhibit 16 different types of13C−13C coupling fine structures. These provide support for the assignment of the resonances of all methyl groups in a protein, which are otherwise often poorly resolved in homonuclear1H NMR spectra. In particular, besides the individual methyl assignments in Val and Leu, unambiguous distinctions are obtained between the methyl groups of Ala and Thr, and between the γ- and δ-methyl groups of Ile. In addition to the methyl resonances, the γCH2 groups of Glu and Gln can be uniquely assigned because of the large coupling constant with the δ-carbon, and the identification of most of the other spin systems can be supported on the basis of coupling patterns that are common to small groups of amino acid residues.

Keywords

Protein structure NMR assignment Isotope labeling Biosynthetically directed fractional13C-labeling Stereospecific NMR assignment