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Dynamics of nucleic acids at room temperature revealed by pulsed EPR

June 2018. Investigation of the structure and conformational dynamics of biomolecules under physiological conditions is challenging for structural biology. Although pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance techniques like PELDOR provide long‐range distance and orientation information with high accuracy, such studies are usually performed at cryogenic temperatures. At room temperature PELDOR studies were seemingly impossible due to short electronic relaxation times and loss of dipolar interactions through rotational averaging. A team of scientists from Frankfurt and Reykjavík , led by Thomas Prisner from Goethe University, found a way to overcome this limitation by incorporating the rigid nitroxide spin label Ç into a DNA duplex and immobilizing the sample on a solid support. This enabled orientation‐selective PELDOR measurements at room temperature. A comparison with data at 50 Kelvin revealed averaging of internal dynamics, which occur on the nanosecond time range at room temperature. This approach adds a new method to study structural and dynamic processes at physiological temperature in the < 10 microsecond time range with atomistic resolution. More ...


Thomas Prisner, Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Riedberg Campus, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, prisner@chemie.uni-frankfurt.de


Markus Gränz, Nicole Erlenbach, Philipp Spindler, Dnyaneshwar B. Gophane, Lukas S. Stelzl, Snorri Th. Sigurdsson & Thomas F. Prisner (2018) Dynamics of nucleic acids at room temperature revealed by pulsed EPR. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition: published online 2 June 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201803682



Cluster of Excellence Macromolecular Complexes, Frankfurt am Main, Germany