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Variability of the 15N Chemical Shielding Tensors in the B3 Domain of Protein G from 15N Relaxation Measurements at Several Fields. Implications for Backbone Order Parameters

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journal contribution
posted on 21.06.2006 by Jennifer B. Hall, David Fushman
We applied a combination of 15N relaxation and CSA/dipolar cross-correlation measurements at five magnetic fields (9.4, 11.7, 14.1, 16.4, and 18.8 T) to determine the 15N chemical shielding tensors for backbone amides in protein G in solution. The data were analyzed using various model-independent approaches and those based on Lipari−Szabo approximation, all of them yielding similar results. The results indicate a range of site-specific values of the anisotropy (CSA) and orientation of the 15N chemical shielding tensor, similar to those in ubiquitin (Fushman, et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1998, 120, 10947; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 8577). Assuming a Gaussian distribution of the 15N CSA values, the mean anisotropy is −173.9 to −177.2 ppm (for 1.02 Å NH bond length) and the site-to-site CSA variability is ±17.6 to ±21.4 ppm, depending on the method used. This CSA variability is significantly larger than derived previously for ribonuclease H (Kroenke, et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 10119) or recently, using “meta-analysis” for ubiquitin (Damberg, et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 1995). Standard interpretation of 15N relaxation studies of backbone dynamics in proteins involves an a priori assumption of a uniform 15N CSA. We show that this assumption leads to a significant discrepancy between the order parameters obtained at different fields. Using the site-specific CSAs obtained from our study removes this discrepancy and allows simultaneous fit of relaxation data at all five fields to Lipari−Szabo spectral densities. These findings emphasize the necessity of taking into account the variability of 15N CSA for accurate analysis of protein dynamics from 15N relaxation measurements.