Fully automated high-quality NMR structure determination of small (2)H-enriched proteins

J Struct Funct Genomics. 2010 Dec;11(4):223-32. doi: 10.1007/s10969-010-9095-6. Epub 2010 Aug 24.


Determination of high-quality small protein structures by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods generally requires acquisition and analysis of an extensive set of structural constraints. The process generally demands extensive backbone and sidechain resonance assignments, and weeks or even months of data collection and interpretation. Here we demonstrate rapid and high-quality protein NMR structure generation using CS-Rosetta with a perdeuterated protein sample made at a significantly reduced cost using new bacterial culture condensation methods. Our strategy provides the basis for a high-throughput approach for routine, rapid, high-quality structure determination of small proteins. As an example, we demonstrate the determination of a high-quality 3D structure of a small 8 kDa protein, E. coli cold shock protein A (CspA), using <4 days of data collection and fully automated data analysis methods together with CS-Rosetta. The resulting CspA structure is highly converged and in excellent agreement with the published crystal structure, with a backbone RMSD value of 0.5 Å, an all atom RMSD value of 1.2 Å to the crystal structure for well-defined regions, and RMSD value of 1.1 Å to crystal structure for core, non-solvent exposed sidechain atoms. Cross validation of the structure with (15)N- and (13)C-edited NOESY data obtained with a perdeuterated (15)N, (13)C-enriched (13)CH(3) methyl protonated CspA sample confirms that essentially all of these independently-interpreted NOE-based constraints are already satisfied in each of the 10 CS-Rosetta structures. By these criteria, the CS-Rosetta structure generated by fully automated analysis of data for a perdeuterated sample provides an accurate structure of CspA. This represents a general approach for rapid, automated structure determination of small proteins by NMR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Automation, Laboratory
  • Cold Shock Proteins and Peptides
  • Databases, Protein
  • Deuterium / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / chemistry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular / methods*
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary*
  • Proteins / chemistry*


  • Cold Shock Proteins and Peptides
  • CspA protein, E coli
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Deuterium