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Proteins. 2007 Apr 1;67(1):18-30.

Probing nascent structures in peptides using natural abundance 13C NMR relaxation and reduced spectral density mapping.

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Protein Engineering Network Centres of Excellence, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The main chain motional properties for a series of peptides that appear to have preferred conformations in solution have been systematically studied using solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The series of peptides were derived from the N-termini of pro-inflammatory chemokine proteins and HoxB1, a transcriptional regulator. As an unstructured control, a ten residue peptide was designed, synthesized, and found to be minimally structured from solution NMR data. The dynamic properties of the main chain for the peptides were assessed through longitudinal and transverse main chain (13)Calpha relaxation rates and the heteronuclear nuclear Overhauser effect. Motional parameters were interpreted using reduced spectral density mapping and compared with those derived from an extended Lipari-Szabo model in which the rotational correlation time was calculated for each main chain site of the peptide. Comparison of spectral density and Lipari-Szabo analyses for the peptides to those of the unstructured control peptide reveals significant differences in the dynamic behavior of the peptides. The amplitude of picosecond to nanosecond timescale motions for the main chain is observed to decrease for all of the chemokine peptides and HoxB1 over the regions that show partial structure at low temperatures. Comparatively, changes in picosecond to nanosecond timescale motions for the unstructured control peptide show no correlation with sequence position. These results indicate that there are distinguishable low temperature motional differences between an intrinsically unstructured peptide and peptides that have an inherent propensity to structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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