Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improved Technique Determines Structure In Membrane Proteins

Date:
August 22, 2008
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
By combining custom-built spectrometers, novel probe designs and faster pulse sequences, scientists have developed unique capabilities for probing protein chemistry and structure through the use of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Chad Rienstra, professor of chemistry, has developed unique capabilities for probing protein chemistry and structure through the use of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Credit: Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Understanding the form and function of certain proteins in the human body is becoming faster and easier, thanks to the work of researchers at the University of Illinois.

Related Articles


By combining custom-built spectrometers, novel probe designs and faster pulse sequences, a team led by Illinois chemistry professor Chad Rienstra has developed unique capabilities for probing protein chemistry and structure through the use of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

The researchers' recent results represent significant progress toward atomic-scale resolution of protein structure by solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The technique can be applied to a large range of membrane proteins and fibrils, which, because they are not water-soluble, are often not amenable to more conventional solution NMR spectroscopy or X-ray crystallography.

"In our experiments, we explore couplings between atoms in proteins," Rienstra said. "Our goal is to translate genomic information into high-resolution structural information, and thereby be able to better understand the function of the proteins."

Solid-state NMR spectroscopy relaxes the need for solubility of the sample. In solution NMR spectroscopy, molecules are allowed to tumble randomly in the magnetic field. In solid-state NMR spectroscopy, molecules are immobilized within a small cylinder called a rotor. The rotor is then spun at high speed in the magnetic field.

"With increased speed and sensitivity, we can obtain very high resolution spectra," Rienstra said. "And, because we can resolve thousands of signals at a time – one for each atom in the sample – we can determine the structure of the entire protein."

To improve sensitivity and accelerate data collection, Rienstra's group is developing smaller rotors that can be spun at rates exceeding 25,000 rotations per second. The faster rotation rate and smaller sample size allows the researchers to obtain more data in less time, and solve structure with just a few milligrams of protein.

The determination of protein structure benefits not only from improvements in technology, but also from the researchers' novel approach to refining geometrical parameters.

Structure determination is normally based upon distances between atoms. Rienstra discovered a way of measuring both the distance between atoms and their relative orientations with very high precision.

"Using this technique, we can more precisely define the fragments of the molecule, and how they are oriented," Rienstra said. "That allows us to define protein features and determine structure at the atomic scale."

Rienstra will describe his group's latest findings and techniques at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, to be held in Philadelphia, Aug. 17-21. Rienstra and his collaborators described their work – creating the highest resolution protein structure solved by solid-state NMR – in the March 25 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Improved Technique Determines Structure In Membrane Proteins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080817223444.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2008, August 22). Improved Technique Determines Structure In Membrane Proteins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080817223444.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Improved Technique Determines Structure In Membrane Proteins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080817223444.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins