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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 May 22;124(20):5822-33.

Model-free analysis of protein backbone motion from residual dipolar couplings.

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Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.


On the basis of the measurement of NH residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) in 11 different alignment media, an RDC-based order parameter is derived for each residue in the protein ubiquitin. Dipolar couplings are motionally averaged in the picosecond to millisecond time range and, therefore, reflect motion slower than the inverse overall tumbling correlation time of the protein. It is found that there is considerable motion that is slower than the correlation time and could not be detected with previous NMR methodology. Amplitudes and anisotropies of the motion can be derived from the model-free analysis. The method can be applied provided that at least five sufficiently different alignment media can be found for the biomolecule under investigation.

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