Protein-biomineral interactions are paramount to materials production in biology, including the mineral phase of hard tissue. Unfortunately, the structure of biomineral-associated proteins cannot be determined by X-ray crystallography or solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Here we report a method for determining the structure of biomineral-associated proteins. The method combines solid-state NMR (ssNMR) and ssNMR-biased computational structure prediction. In addition, the algorithm is able to identify lattice geometries most compatible with ssNMR constraints, representing a quantitative, novel method for investigating crystal-face binding specificity. We use this method to determine most of the structure of human salivary statherin interacting with the mineral phase of tooth enamel. Computation and experiment converge on an ensemble of related structures and identify preferential binding at three crystal surfaces. The work represents a significant advance toward determining structure of biomineral-adsorbed protein using experimentally biased structure prediction. This method is generally applicable to proteins that can be chemically synthesized.
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