Disorder is vital for the biological function of many proteins. The huge diversity found in disorder composition and amplitude reflects the complexity and pluripotency of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). The first step toward a better understanding of IDPs is a quantitative and position-specific experimental characterization, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has emerged as the method of first choice. Here, we describe how to quantitatively assess the local balance between order and disorder in proteins by utilizing the Chemical shift Z-score for assessing Order/Disorder (CheZOD Z-score). This order/disorder metric is computed from the difference between experimentally determined NMR chemical shifts and computed random coil reference values. We explain in detail how CheZOD Z-scores are calculated fast and easily, either by using a python executable or by data submission to a server.
Keywords: CheZOD; Chemical shift; Data interpretation; IDP; Intrinsically disordered proteins; NMR spectroscopy; POTENCI; Protein conformation; Software.