Journal of Biomolecular NMR

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 199–211 | Cite as

Cα and Cβ Carbon-13 Chemical Shifts in Proteins From an Empirical Database

  • Mitsuo Iwadate
  • Tetsuo Asakura
  • Michael P. Williamson


We have constructed an extensive database of 13C Cα and Cβ chemical shifts in proteins of solution, for proteins of which a high-resolution crystal structure exists, and for which the crystal structure has been shown to be essentially identical to the solution structure. There is no systematic effect of temperature, reference compound, or pH on reported shifts, but there appear to be differences in reported shifts arising from referencing differences of up to 4.2 ppm. The major factor affecting chemical shifts is the backbone geometry, which causes differences of ca. 4 ppm between typical α- helix and β-sheet geometries for Cα, and of ca. 2 ppm for Cβ. The side-chain dihedral angle χ1 has an effect of up to 0.5 ppm on the Cα shift, particularly for amino acids with branched side-chains at Cβ. Hydrogen bonding to main-chain atoms has an effect of up to 0.9 ppm, which depends on the main- chain conformation. The sequence of the protein and ring-current shifts from aromatic rings have an insignificant effect (except for residues following proline). There are significant differences between different amino acid types in the backbone geometry dependence; the amino acids can be grouped together into five different groups with different φ,ψ shielding surfaces. The overall fit of individual residues to a single non-residue-specific surface, incorporating the effects of hydrogen bonding and χ1 angle, is 0.96 ppm for both Cα and Cβ. The results from this study are broadly similar to those from ab initio studies, but there are some differences which could merit further attention.

carbon-13 chemical shifts hydrogen bonding protein structure structure refinement 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuo Iwadate
    • 1
  • Tetsuo Asakura
    • 1
  • Michael P. Williamson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyKoganei, Tokyo 184Japan
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldU.K.

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