Conventional ESR Spectroscopy of Membrane Proteins: Recent Applications

  • Philippe F. Devaux


Conventional electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy of nitroxide radicals is sensitive to motions corresponding to correlation times in the range 10−11–10−7 sec. If the motion is anisotropic, with a fast component in the 10−9–10−11 sec. range, an order parameter can be measured; the latter is indicative of the angular domain associated with the fast motion. These properties are well suited to the investigation of lipid viscosity. On the other hand, saturation transfer ESR (ST-ESR), which is an extension of the spin-labeling method, is sensitive to motions corresponding to the so-called slow motion regime: 10−3–10−7 sec. The latter technique is adapted to the investigation of the motion of proteins and in particular of membrane proteins. In this book, D. T. Thomas reviews the applications of ST-ESR to membrane proteins, while the present chapter deals only with the applications of conventional ESR. Previous reviews have exposed the details of this technique which was introduced first in 1965 by Stone et al. The two volumes, edited by Berliner (1976, 1979), on the topic of “spin-labeling” contain the most useful references for the background necessary for an understanding of the present review. In the 1976 edition of The Enzymes of Biological Membranes edited by A. Martonosi, two brief chapters were devoted to the use of spin labels to study membrane bound enzymes, receptors, and transport systems (Gaffney and Chang Lin, 1976; Vignais and Devaux, 1976). The present edition will emphasize the newest applications of spin-labeling to the investigation of membrane-bound enzymes.


Phosphatidic Acid Spin Label Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy Purple Membrane Extrinsic Protein 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe F. Devaux
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Biologie Physico-ChimiqueParisFrance

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