Optimizing a family of lanthanide ....
Third-party funded project
Project title Optimizing a family of lanthanide ....
Principal Investigator(s) Häussinger, Daniel
Project Members Gsellinger, Heiko
Zimmermann, Kaspar
Organisation / Research unit Departement Chemie / Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (Häussinger)
Project start 01.07.2010
Probable end 30.06.2013
Status Completed

Determination of the three-dimensional structure of proteins in solution is a stronghold of
modern bio-molecular NMR spectroscopy. Even more important for understanding
processes in the living cell is the characterization of interaction sites and surfaces of
protein-protein and protein-ligand complexes. NMR can provide not only structural but
also dynamic information on this subject. Classical determination of NOE distant restraints
has recently been complemented by techniques, which utilize paramagnetic lanthanide
ions that are tagged covalently to the suitably modified protein. Besides residual dipolar
couplings (RDCs) and paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) the focus of this
proposal is aimed at pseudo contact shift (PCS) NMR spectroscopy. PCS NMR has
unique properties as it is a long-range method that can cover distances of more than 50 Å,
in combination with precise angle information. The very sensitive measurements are
simple 2D-NMR experiments that can be performed even on larger proteins. We have
recently presented a new lanthanide chelating tag "M8", based on a sterically
overcrowded DOTA framework that shows PCS of unprecedented size when linked to
ubiquitin. This project is aimed at further improving the properties of the new ligand by
systematically fine-tuning the type and the rigidity of the linker between the DOTA core
and the protein. In a second step, variation of the donor atoms of the chelator should
trigger a strong crystal field distortion for the lanthanide ion and might result in a more
pronounced anisotropy of the susceptibility tensor and hence stronger PCS. Finally a
screening of at least a number of different lanthanides should yield, together with the
variation of the first two parameters, a family of lanthanide chelating tags that should be
suitable for tackling a variety of different problems in structural biology. As the stereospecific
synthesis of the macrocyclic ligand is tedious and demanding, a number of
interesting collaborations with other groups is already underway or is planned for the near
future. We will therefore have a chance to study the individual benefits of the various
members of our LCT family by applying them to a number of challenging bio-molecular

Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

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