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Resource for NMR Molecular Imaging of Proteins

Stanley Opella, Ph.D.

Center Overview

The Resource is focused on the development of NMR spectroscopy for structure determination of proteins in biological supramolecular assemblies. The principal applications are to membrane-associated proteins; however, the approach is generally applicable to polypeptides that cannot be prepared in forms suitable for X-ray crystallography or multidimensional solution NMR spectroscopy. As a result, there are also applications to viruses and other biological systems.The principal instrumentation consists of high-field NMR spectrometers dedicated to high-resolution solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The spectrometers are capable of the full-range of multiple-resonance experiments on stationary and spinning samples; however, the major emphasis is on methods that utilize mechanically or magnetically oriented samples. Development encompasses preparation of samples, including:

  • Expression and purification of membrane proteins
  • Design and construction of instrumentation, especially probes
  • Implementation of new pulse sequences and other experimental protocols for solid-state NMR spectroscopy
  • Calculations for the processing of experimental data and protein structure determination from the orientational constraints derived from these data.