Determination of three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules by magic-angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR spectroscopy is hindered by the paucity of nuclear dipolar coupling-based restraints corresponding to distances exceeding 5 Å. Recent MAS NMR studies of uniformly (13)C,(15)N-enriched proteins containing paramagnetic centers have demonstrated the measurements of site-specific nuclear pseudocontact shifts and spin relaxation enhancements, which report on electron-nucleus distances up to ~20 Å. These studies pave the way for the application of such long-distance paramagnetic restraints to protein structure elucidation and analysis of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions in the solid phase. Paramagnetic species also facilitate the rapid acquisition of high resolution and sensitivity multidimensional solid-state NMR spectra of biomacromolecules using condensed data collection schemes, and characterization of solvent-accessible surfaces of peptides and proteins. In this review we discuss some of the latest applications of magic-angle spinning NMR spectroscopy in conjunction with paramagnetic probes to the structural studies of proteins in the solid state.
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