Methyl proton contacts obtained using heteronuclear through-bond transfers in solid-state NMR spectroscopy
A two-dimensional proton-mediated carbon-carbon correlation experiment that relies on through-bond heteronuclear magnetization transfers is demonstrated in the context of solid-state NMR of proteins. This new experiment, dubbed J-CHHC by analogy to the previously developed dipolar CHHC techniques, is shown to provide selective and sensitive correlations in the methyl region of 2D spectra of crystalline organic compounds. The method is then demonstrated on a microcrystalline sample of the dimeric protein Crh (2 x 10.4 kDa). A total of 34 new proton-proton contacts involving side-chain methyl groups were observed in the J-CHHC spectrum, which had not been observed with the conventional experiment. The contacts were then used as additional distance restraints for the 3D structure determination of this microcrystalline protein. Upon addition of these new distance restraints, which are in large part located in the hydrophobic core of the protein, the root-mean-square deviation with respect to the X-ray structure of the backbone atom coordinates of the 10 best conformers of the new ensemble of structures is reduced from 1.8 to 1.1 angstrom.