Magic Angle Spinning NMR of Paramagnetic Proteins
Metal ions are ubiquitous in biochemical and cellular processes. Since many metal ions are paramagnetic due to the presence of unpaired electrons, paramagnetic molecules are an important class of targets for research in structural biology and related fields. Today, NMR spectroscopy plays a central role in the investigation of the structure and chemical properties of paramagnetic metalloproteins, linking the observed paramagnetic phenomena directly to electronic and molecular structure. A major step forward in the study of proteins by solid-state NMR came with the advent of ultrafast magic angle spinning (MAS) and the ability to use H-1 detection. Combined, these techniques have allowed investigators to observe nuclei that previously were invisible in highly paramagnetic metalloproteins. In addition, these techniques have enabled quantitative site-specific measurement of a variety of long-range paramagnetic. effects. Instead of limiting solid-state NMR studies of biological systems, paramagnetism provides an information-rich phenomenon that can be exploited in these studies. This Account emphasizes state-of-the-art methods and applications of solid-state NMR in paramagnetic systems in biological chemistry. In particular, we discuss the use of ultrafast MAS and H-1-detection in perdeuterated paramagnetic metalloproteins. Current methodology allows us to determine the structure and dynamics of metalloenzymes, and, as an example, we describe solid-state NMR studies of microcrystalline superoxide dismutase, a 32 kDa dimer. Data were acquired with remarkably short times, and these experiments required only a few milligrams of sample.