Chemical Tagging with tert-Butyl and Trimethylsilyl Groups for Measuring Intermolecular Nuclear Overhauser Effects in a Large Protein–Ligand Complex

Shereen Jabar, Luke A. Adams, Yao Wang, Luigi Aurelio, Bim Graham, Gottfried Otting

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Intermolecular 1H-1H nuclear Overhauser effects (NOE) present a powerful tool to assess contacts between proteins and binding partners, but are difficult to identify for complexes of high molecular weight. This report shows that intermolecular NOEs can readily be observed following chemical labeling with tert-butyl or trimethylsilyl (TMS) groups. Proteins can be furnished with tert-butyl or TMS groups site-specifically using genetically encoded unnatural amino acids or by chemical modification of single cysteine residues. No isotope labeling is required. The approach is demonstrated with the 95 kDa complex between tetrameric E. coli single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) and single-stranded DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13033-13036
Number of pages4
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number53
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2017


  • nuclear magnetic resonance
  • nuclear Overhauser effect
  • single-stranded DNA binding protein
  • tert-butyl group
  • trimethylsilyl tag

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