Nuclear magnetic resonance measurements of slow conformational dynamics in macromolecules

Andrew N. Lane, Jean Fran¢ois Lefèvre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This chapter describes the application of a variety of NMR techniques including line shape analysis, rotating-frame relaxation rate measurements, and saturation transfer methods to slow conformational transitions in macromolecules. In this context, slow refers mainly to processes that occur much slower than overall tumbling rates. All of the NMR parameters—for example, chemical shift, coupling constants, relaxation rates, and line shapes—can be affected by chemical exchange processes. Although molecular dynamics simulations can shed light on the effects of sub-nanosecond motions on NMR observables such as coupling constants and cross-relaxation rate constants, they cannot be used to determine the influence of much slower motions on the NMR parameters. The combined use of rotating-frame relaxation methods, temperature dependent measurements of line shapes and magnetization transfer experiments allows in favorable cases the examination in some detail of exchange processes that occur on the millisecond time scale. Such measurements complement the information obtainable from heteronuclear relaxation methods that probe mainly the fast librational motions in macromolecules and may provide information important for functional studies of biological macromolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-619
Number of pages24
JournalMethods in Enzymology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant DMB-9007878), the National Institutes of Health (Grant GM38608) and the Keck Foundation. We thank Dr. Dennis Hare for providing the software package FELIX2.06. We are grateful to Prof. Jean-Franqois Lef~vre, Mr. Kwaku Dayie, and Dr. Johan K6rdel for fruitful discussions. We also thank Prof. Geoffrey Bodenhausen and Prof. Arthur Palmer for providing manuscripts prior to publication.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom and the British Council for funds under the Alliance scheme. We thank also Dr. T. Frenkiel for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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