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J Biomol NMR. 1997 Jun;9(4):359-69.

Temperature dependence of 1H chemical shifts in proteins.

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Krebs Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, U.K.


Temperature coefficients have been measured by 2D NMR methods for the amide and C alpha H proton chemical shifts in two globular proteins, bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor and hen egg-white lysozyme. The temperature-dependent changes in chemical shift are generally linear up to about 15 degrees below the global denaturation temperature, and the derived coefficients span a range of roughly -16 to +2 ppb/K for amide protons and -4 to +3 ppb/K for C alpha H. The temperature coefficients can be rationalized by the assumption that heating causes increases in thermal motion in the protein. Precise calculations of temperature coefficients derived from protein coordinates are not possible, since chemical shifts are sensitive to small changes in atomic coordinates. Amide temperature coefficients correlate well with the location of hydrogen bonds as determined by crystallography. It is concluded that a combined use of both temperature coefficients and exchange rates produces a far more reliable indicator of hydrogen bonding than either alone. If an amide proton exchanges slowly and has a temperature coefficient more positive than -4.5 ppb/K, it is hydrogen bonded, while if it exchanges rapidly and has a temperature coefficient more negative than -4.5 ppb/K, it is not hydrogen bonded. The previously observed unreliability of temperature coefficients as measures of hydrogen bonding in peptides may arise from losses of peptide secondary structure on heating.

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