Microdrop screening: A rapid method to optimize solvent conditions for NMR spectroscopy of proteins
ABSTRACT Determining appropriate solvent conditions is a crucial first step for carrying out NMR spectroscopy of proteins, but rapid and efficient methods for doing so are currently lacking. Microdrop screening examines a large number of different solvent conditions using very small amounts of protein and minimal labor. Starting from one initial buffer condition, small aliquots of protein solution are combined with an array of solutions in which concentration, pH, buffer type, and added stabilizers are systematically varied. The protein concentration of each microliter-sized test drop ('microdrop') is gradually changed using vapor diffusion, and the solubility of the protein is determined by visual examination. A variety of analytical techniques may be applied to the contents of the microdrops to monitor enzymatic activity, aggregation, ligand binding, and protein folding.
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ABSTRACT: Although the rapid progress of NMR technology has significantly expanded the range of NMR-trackable systems, preparation of NMR-suitable samples that are highly soluble and stable remains a bottleneck for studies of many biological systems. The application of solubility-enhancement tags (SETs) has been highly effective in overcoming solubility and sample stability issues and has enabled structural studies of important biological systems previously deemed unapproachable by solution NMR techniques. In this review, we provide a brief survey of the development and successful applications of the SET strategy in biomolecular NMR.We also comment on the criteria for choosing optimal SETs, such as for differently charged target proteins, and recent new developments on NMR-invisible SETs.Journal of Biomolecular NMR 10/2009; 46(1):23-31. DOI:10.1007/s10858-009-9371-6 · 3.31 Impact Factor
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