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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Apr 24;124(16):4522-34.

General framework for studying the dynamics of folded and nonfolded proteins by NMR relaxation spectroscopy and MD simulation.

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Carlson School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts 01610, USA.


A general framework is presented for the interpretation of NMR relaxation data of proteins. The method, termed isotropic reorientational eigenmode dynamics (iRED), relies on a principal component analysis of the isotropically averaged covariance matrix of the lattice functions of the spin interactions responsible for spin relaxation. The covariance matrix, which is evaluated using a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, is diagonalized yielding reorientational eigenmodes and amplitudes that reveal detailed information about correlated protein dynamics. The eigenvalue distribution allows one to quantitatively assess whether overall and internal motions are statistically separable. To each eigenmode belongs a correlation time that can be adjusted to optimally reproduce experimental relaxation parameters. A key feature of the method is that it does not require separability of overall tumbling and internal motions, which makes it applicable to a wide range of systems, such as folded, partially folded, and unfolded biomolecular systems and other macromolecules in solution. The approach was applied to NMR relaxation data of ubiquitin collected at multiple magnetic fields in the native form and in the partially folded A-state using MD trajectories with lengths of 6 and 70 ns. The relaxation data of native ubiquitin are well reproduced after adjustment of the correlation times of the 10 largest eigenmodes. For this state, a high degree of separability between internal and overall motions is present as is reflected in large amplitude and collectivity gaps between internal and overall reorientational modes. In contrast, no such separability exists for the A-state. Residual overall tumbling motion involving the N-terminal beta-sheet and the central helix is observed for two of the largest modes only. By adjusting the correlation times of the 10 largest modes, a high degree of consistency between the experimental relaxation data and the iRED model is reached for this highly flexible biomolecule.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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