NMR based solvent exchange experiments to understand the conformational preference of intrinsically disordered proteins using FG-nucleoporin peptide as a model

Kurt A. Heisel, Viswanathan V Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


The conformational preference of a peptide with three phenylalanine-glycine (FG) repeats from the intrinsically disordered domain of nucleoporin 159 (nup159) from the yeast nucleopore complex is studied. Conformational states of this FG-peptide in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), a non-native solvent, are first studied. A solvent exchange scheme is designed and performed to understand how the conformational preferences of the peptide are altered as the solvent shifts from DMSO to water. An ensemble of structures of a 19-residue peptide is determined based on 13Cα, 1Hα, and 1HN chemical shifts and with interproton distances. An experimental model is then presented where chemical shifts and amide-proton temperature dependence is probed at changing DMSO to water ratios. These co-solvent experiments provide evidence of a conformational change as the fraction of water increases by the stark change in the behavior of amide protons under varied temperature. This investigation provides a NMR based experimental method in the field of intrinsically disordered proteins to realize conformational transitions from a non-native set of structures (in DMSO) to a native set of disordered conformers (in water).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalBiopolymers - Peptide Science Section
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Intrinsically disordered protein
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Nucleoporins
  • Solvent perturbation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry

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