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J Biomol NMR. 2014 Jan;58(1):49-60. doi: 10.1007/s10858-013-9804-0. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Bridge over troubled proline: assignment of intrinsically disordered proteins using (HCA)CON(CAN)H and (HCA)N(CA)CO(N)H experiments concomitantly with HNCO and i(HCA)CO(CA)NH.

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Program in Structural Biology and Biophysics, Institute of Biotechnology/NMR Laboratory, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, 00014, Helsinki, Finland.


NMR spectroscopy is by far the most versatile and information rich technique to study intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). While NMR is able to offer residue level information on structure and dynamics, assignment of chemical shift resonances in IDPs is not a straightforward process. Consequently, numerous pulse sequences and assignment protocols have been developed during past several years, targeted especially for the assignment of IDPs, including experiments that employ H(N), H(α) or (13)C detection combined with two to six indirectly detected dimensions. Here we propose two new HN-detection based pulse sequences, (HCA)CON(CAN)H and (HCA)N(CA)CO(N)H, that provide correlations with (1)H(N)(i - 1), (13)C'(i - 1) and (15)N(i), and (1)H(N)(i + 1), (13)C'(i) and (15)N(i) frequencies, respectively. Most importantly, they offer sequential links across the proline bridges and enable filling the single proline gaps during the assignment. We show that the novel experiments can efficiently complement the information available from existing HNCO and intraresidual i(HCA)CO(CA)NH pulse sequences and their concomitant usage enabled >95 % assignment of backbone resonances in cytoplasmic tail of adenosine receptor A2A in comparison to 73 % complete assignment using the HNCO/i(HCA)CO(CA)NH data alone.

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