The effect of noncollinearity of 15N-1H dipolar and 15N CSA tensors and rotational anisotropy on 15N relaxation, CSA/dipolar cross correlation, and TROSY

David Fushman, David Cowburn

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Current approaches to 15N relaxation in proteins assume that the 15N-1H dipolar and 15N CSA tensors are collinear. We show theoretically that, when there is significant anisotropy of molecular rotation, different orientations of the two tensors, experimentally observed in proteins, nucleic acids, and small peptides, will result in differences in site-specific correlation functions and spectral densities. The standard treatments of the rates of longitudinal and transverse relaxation of amide 15N nuclei, of the 15N CSA/15N-1H dipolar cross correlation, and of the TROSY experiment are extended to account for the effect of noncollinearity of the 15N-1H dipolar and 15N CSA (chemical shift anisotropy) tensors. This effect, proportional to the degree of anisotropy of the overall motion, (D is parallel with/D is perpendicular to - 1), is sensitive to the relative orientation of the two tensors and to the orientation of the peptide plane with respect to the diffusion coordinate frame. The effect is negligible at small degrees of anisotropy, but is predicted to become significant for D is parallel with/D is perpendicular to ≥ 1.5, and at high magnetic fields. The effect of noncollinearity of 15N CSA and 15N-1H dipolar interaction is sensitive to both gross (hydrodynamic) properties and atomic-level details of protein structure. Incorporation of this effect into relaxation data analysis is likely to improve both precision and accuracy of the derived characteristics of protein dynamics, especially at high magnetic fields and for molecules with a high degree of anisotropy of the overall motion. The effect will also make TROSY efficiency dependent on local orientation in moderately anisotropic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomolecular NMR
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes



  • Anisotropic overall motion
  • Chemical shift anisotropy
  • NMR relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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