Structural biology often focuses primarily on three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules, deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). This resource is a remarkable entity for the worldwide scientific and medical communities, as well as the general public, as it is a growing translation into three-dimensional space of the vast information in genomic databases, e.g. GENBANK. There is, however, significantly more to understanding biological function than the three-dimensional co-ordinate space for ground-state structures of biomolecules. The vast array of biomolecules experiences natural dynamics, interconversion between multiple conformational states, and molecular recognition and allosteric events that play out on timescales ranging from picoseconds to seconds. This wide range of timescales demands ingenious and sophisticated experimental tools to sample and interpret these motions, thus enabling clearer insights into functional annotation of the PDB. NMR spectroscopy is unique in its ability to sample this range of timescales at atomic resolution and in physiologically relevant conditions using spin relaxation methods. The field is constantly expanding to provide new creative experiments, to yield more detailed coverage of timescales, and to broaden the power of interpretation and analysis methods. This review highlights the current state of the methodology and examines the extension of analysis tools for more complex experiments and dynamic models. The future for understanding protein dynamics is bright, and these extended tools bring greater compatibility with developments in computational molecular dynamics, all of which will further our understanding of biological molecular functions. These facets place NMR as a key component in integrated structural biology.
Review Article| April 20 2018
Protein dynamics revealed by NMR relaxation methods
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Marcellus Ubbink, Anastassis Perrakis, Fa-An Chao, R. Andrew Byrd; Protein dynamics revealed by NMR relaxation methods. Emerg Top Life Sci 20 April 2018; 2 (1): 93–105. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/ETLS20170139
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