Solid-state NMR paramagnetic relaxation enhancement immersion depth studies in phospholipid bilayers

Shidong Chu, Sergey B. Maltsev, Abdul-Hamid M. Emwas, Gary A. Lorigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A new approach for determining the membrane immersion depth of a spin-labeled probe has been developed using paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) in solid-state NMR spectroscopy. A DOXYL spin label was placed at different sites of 1-palmitoyl-2-stearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (PSPC) phospholipid bilayers as paramagnetic moieties and the resulting enhancements of the longitudinal relaxation (T1) times of 31P nuclei on the surface of the bilayers were measured by a standard inversion recovery pulse sequence. The 31P NMR spin-lattice relaxation times decrease steadily as the DOXYL spin label moves closer to the surface as well as the concentration of the spin-labeled lipids increase. The enhanced relaxation vs. the position and concentration of spin-labels indicate that PRE induced by the DOXYL spin label are significant to determine longer distances over the whole range of the membrane depths. When these data were combined with estimated correlation times τc, the r-6-weighted, time-averaged distances between the spin-labels and the 31P nuclei on the membrane surface were estimated. The application of using this solid-state NMR PRE approach coupled with site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) may be a powerful method for measuring membrane protein immersion depth. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 25 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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