An improved method for distinguishing between anisotropic tumbling and chemical exchange in analysis of 15N relaxation parameters

J Biomol NMR. 2001 Jun;20(2):149-65. doi: 10.1023/a:1011249816560.


Although an accurate description of global tumbling of a protein is essential for correct analysis of internal motions. proper distinction between the effects of anisotropic rotational diffusion and conformational exchange has remained a challenge. We present a novel two-part filtering procedure designed specifically to distinguish between the effects of anisotropy and conformational exchange. The efficacy of this method is assessed using synthetic data sets. The method is then applied to two proteins of dramatically different size and shape, OspA and SH3. The large size and extreme anisotropy of OspA provide a challenging case, where conformational exchange is a small perturbation of the effects of anisotropy on transverse relaxation rates. Conversely, in the chicken c-Src SH3 domain, with its small size and nearly spherical shape, anisotropy is a small perturbation of the effects of conformational exchange on transverse relaxation rates. Accurate extraction of the global tumbling parameters for each protein allows optimal characterization of conformational exchange processes, as well as ps-ns time scale motions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anisotropy
  • Antigens, Surface / chemistry
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Lipoproteins*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • src Homology Domains


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Lipoproteins
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • OspA protein
  • Proteins