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Probing Invisible, Low-Populated States of Protein Molecules by Relaxation Dispersion NMR Spectroscopy: An Application to Protein Folding

By Dmitry M. Korzhnev, Lewis, E. Kay and Con Spectus


Biological function depends on molecular dynamics that lead to excursions from highly populated ground states to much less populated excited states. The low populations and the transient formation of such excited states render them invisible to the conventional methods of structural biology. Thus, while detailed pictures of ground-state structures of biomolecules have emerged over the years, largely through X-ray diffraction and solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy studies, much less structural data has been accumulated on the conformational properties of the invisible excited states that are necessary to fully explain function. NMR spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying conformational dynamics because it is sensitive to dynamics over a wide range of time scales, extending from picoseconds to seconds and because information is, in principle, available at nearly every position in the molecule. Her

Year: 2007
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