EPR Distance Measurements in Native Proteins with Genetically Encoded Spin Labels
2015, Schmidt, Moritz J., Fedoseev, Artem, Bücker, Dennis, Borbas, Julia, Peter, Christine, Drescher, Malte, Summerer, Daniel
The genetic encoding of nitroxide amino acids in combination with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) distance measurements enables precise structural studies of native proteins, i.e. without the need for mutations to create unique reactive sites for chemical labeling and thus with minimal structural perturbation. We here report on in vitro DEER measurements in native E. coli thioredoxin (TRX) that establish the nitroxide amino acid SLK-1 as a spectroscopic probe that reports distances and conformational flexibilities in the enzyme with nonmutated catalytic centers that are not accessible by the use of the traditional methanethiosulfonate spin label (MTSSL). We generated a rotamer library for SLK-1 that in combination with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation enables predictions of distance distributions between two SLK-1 labels incorporated into a target protein. Toward a routine use of SLK-1 for EPR distance measurements in proteins and the advancement of the approach to intracellular environments, we study the stability of SLK-1 in E. coli cultures and lysates and establish guidelines for protein expression and purification that offer maximal nitroxide stability. These advancements and insights provide new perspectives for facile structural studies of native, endogenous proteins by EPR distance measurements.
Genetically Encoded Spin Labels for In Vitro and In-Cell EPR Studies of Native Proteins
2015, Schmidt, Moritz J., Fedoseev, Artem, Summerer, Daniel, Drescher, Malte
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in combination with site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) is a powerful approach to study the structure, dynamics, and interactions of proteins. The genetic encoding of the noncanonical amino acid spin-labeled lysine 1 (SLK-1) eliminates the need for any chemical labeling steps in SDSL-EPR studies and enables the investigation of native, endogenous proteins with minimal structural perturbation, and without the need to create unique reactive sites for chemical labeling. We report detailed experimental procedures for the efficient synthesis of SLK-1, the expression and purification of SLK-1-containing proteins under conditions that ensure maximal integrity of the nitroxide radical moiety, and procedures for intramolecular EPR distance measurements in proteins by double electron-electron resonance.