Overcoming the solubility limit with solubility-enhancement tags: successful applications in biomolecular NMR studies

  • Pei Zhou
  • Gerhard WagnerEmail author


Although the rapid progress of NMR technology has significantly expanded the range of NMR-trackable systems, preparation of NMR-suitable samples that are highly soluble and stable remains a bottleneck for studies of many biological systems. The application of solubility-enhancement tags (SETs) has been highly effective in overcoming solubility and sample stability issues and has enabled structural studies of important biological systems previously deemed unapproachable by solution NMR techniques. In this review, we provide a brief survey of the development and successful applications of the SET strategy in biomolecular NMR. We also comment on the criteria for choosing optimal SETs, such as for differently charged target proteins, and recent new developments on NMR-invisible SETs.


NMR Solubility enhancement tag Protein aggregation Protein GB1 Protein Protein stability enhancement 



This work was supported by NIH (grants GM47467 to GW and GM079376 to PZ). PZ would like to thank Prof. Terrence G. Oas (Department of Biochemistry, Duke University Medical Center) for critical reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular PharmacologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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