Journal of Biomolecular NMR

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 149-155

First online:

High resolution NMR spectroscopy of nanocrystalline proteins at ultra-high magnetic field

  • Lindsay J. SperlingAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Andrew J. NieuwkoopAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Andrew S. LiptonAffiliated withEnvironmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • , Deborah A. BertholdAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Chad M. RienstraAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignDepartment of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignCenter for Biophysics and Computational Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Email author 

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Magic-angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR (SSNMR) spectroscopy of uniformly-13C,15N labeled protein samples provides insight into atomic-resolution chemistry and structure. Data collection efficiency has advanced remarkably in the last decade; however, the study of larger proteins is still challenged by relatively low resolution in comparison to solution NMR. In this study, we present a systematic analysis of SSNMR protein spectra acquired at 11.7, 17.6 and 21.1 Tesla (1H frequencies of 500, 750, and 900 MHz). For two protein systems—GB1, a 6 kDa nanocrystalline protein and DsbA, a 21 kDa nanocrystalline protein—line narrowing is demonstrated in all spectral regions with increasing field. Resolution enhancement is greatest in the aliphatic region, including methine, methylene and methyl sites. The resolution for GB1 increases markedly as a function of field, and for DsbA, resolution in the C–C region increases by 42%, according to the number of peaks that can be uniquely picked and integrated in the 900 MHz spectra when compared to the 500 MHz spectra. Additionally, chemical exchange is uniquely observed in the highest field spectra for at least two isoleucine Cδ1 sites in DsbA. These results further illustrate the benefits of high-field MAS SSNMR spectroscopy for protein structural studies.


Nanocrystalline proteins Solid-state NMR spectroscopy Spectral resolution Ultra-high magnetic field