Side chain resonances in static oriented proton-decoupled 15N solid-state NMR spectra of membrane proteins

J Am Chem Soc. 2009 May 13;131(18):6340-1. doi: 10.1021/ja900677b.


Proton-decoupled (15)N solid-state NMR spectra are used to analyze the structure, dynamics, and membrane topology of proteins uniformly labeled with (15)N. Preparation of the proteins by bacterial overexpression results in the labeling not only of the backbone amides but also of nitrogens localized within the side chains of arginine, glutamine, tryptophan, asparagines, lysines, and histidines. Most of these side chain resonances appear in the spectral region of the anisotropic backbone amides, and residual intensities have been observed also in cross-polarization spectra. In the past this issue has received little attention although it can cause ambiguities during assignment. Here we show that by combining cross-polarization and Hahn echo solid-state NMR experiments, it is possible to differentiate between side chain and backbone resonances. This is demonstrated using experimental and simulated (15)N spectra of oriented purple membranes, diphtheria toxin T domain and Bcl-x(L).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diphtheria Toxin / chemistry
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • Protein Conformation
  • Purple Membrane / chemistry
  • bcl-X Protein / chemistry


  • Diphtheria Toxin
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • bcl-X Protein