Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 9;106(23):9244-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900908106. Epub 2009 May 27.

Functional and shunt states of bacteriorhodopsin resolved by 250 GHz dynamic nuclear polarization-enhanced solid-state NMR.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry and Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Observation and structural studies of reaction intermediates of proteins are challenging because of the mixtures of states usually present at low concentrations. Here, we use a 250 GHz gyrotron (cyclotron resonance maser) and cryogenic temperatures to perform high-frequency dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) NMR experiments that enhance sensitivity in magic-angle spinning NMR spectra of cryo-trapped photocycle intermediates of bacteriorhodopsin (bR) by a factor of approximately 90. Multidimensional spectroscopy of U-(13)C,(15)N-labeled samples resolved coexisting states and allowed chemical shift assignments in the retinylidene chromophore for several intermediates not observed previously. The correlation spectra reveal unexpected heterogeneity in dark-adapted bR, distortion in the K state, and, most importantly, 4 discrete L substates. Thermal relaxation of the mixture of L's showed that 3 of these substates revert to bR(568) and that only the 1 substate with both the strongest counterion and a fully relaxed 13-cis bond is functional. These definitive observations of functional and shunt states in the bR photocycle provide a preview of the mechanistic insights that will be accessible in membrane proteins via sensitivity-enhanced DNP NMR. These observations would have not been possible absent the signal enhancement available from DNP.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk