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    ABSTRACT: Peak overlap is one of the major factors complicating the analysis of biomolecular NMR spectra. We present a general method for predicting the extent of peak overlap in multidimensional NMR spectra and its validation using both, experimental data sets and Monte Carlo simulation. The method is based on knowledge of the magnetization transfer pathways of the NMR experiments and chemical shift statistics from the Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank. Assuming a normal distribution with characteristic mean value and standard deviation for the chemical shift of each observable atom, an analytic expression was derived for the expected overlap probability of the cross peaks. The analytical approach was verified to agree with the average peak overlap in a large number of individual peak lists simulated using the same chemical shift statistics. The method was applied to eight proteins, including an intrinsically disordered one, for which the prediction results could be compared with the actual overlap based on the experimentally measured chemical shifts. The extent of overlap predicted using only statistical chemical shift information was in good agreement with the overlap that was observed when the measured shifts were used in the virtual spectrum, except for the intrinsically disordered protein. Since the spectral complexity of a protein NMR spectrum is a crucial factor for protein structure determination, analytical overlap prediction can be used to identify potentially difficult proteins before conducting NMR experiments. Overlap predictions can be tailored to particular classes of proteins by preparing statistics from corresponding protein databases. The method is also suitable for optimizing recording parameters and labeling schemes for NMR experiments and improving the reliability of automated spectra analysis and protein structure determination.
    Journal of Biomolecular NMR 04/2013; · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A method is introduced to represent an ensemble of conformers of a protein by a single structure in torsion angle space that lies closest to the averaged Cartesian coordinates while maintaining perfect covalent geometry and on average equal steric quality and an equally good fit to the experimental (e.g. NMR) data as the individual conformers of the ensemble. The single representative 'regmean structure' is obtained by simulated annealing in torsion angle space with the program CYANA using as input data the experimental restraints, restraints for the atom positions relative to the average Cartesian coordinates, and restraints for the torsion angles relative to the corresponding principal cluster average values of the ensemble. The method was applied to 11 proteins for which NMR structure ensembles are available, and compared to alternative, commonly used simple approaches for selecting a single representative structure, e.g. the structure from the ensemble that best fulfills the experimental and steric restraints, or the structure from the ensemble that has the lowest RMSD value to the average Cartesian coordinates. In all cases our method found a structure in torsion angle space that is significantly closer to the mean coordinates than the alternatives while maintaining the same quality as individual conformers. The method is thus suitable to generate representative single structure representations of protein structure ensembles in torsion angle space. Since in the case of NMR structure calculations with CYANA the single structure is calculated in the same way as the individual conformers except that weak positional and torsion angle restraints are added, we propose to represent new NMR structures by a 'regmean bundle' consisting of the single representative structure as the first conformer and all but one original individual conformers (the original conformer with the highest target function value is discarded in order to keep the number of conformers in the bundle constant). In this way, analyses that require a single structure can be carried out in the most meaningful way using the first model, while at the same time the additional information contained in the ensemble remains available.
    Journal of Biomolecular NMR 02/2012; 52(4):351-64. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peak lists are commonly used in NMR as input data for various software tools such as automatic assignment and structure calculation programs. Inconsistencies of chemical shift referencing among different peak lists or between peak and chemical shift lists can cause severe problems during peak assignment. Here we present a simple and robust tool to achieve self-consistency of the chemical shift referencing among a set of peak lists. The Peakmatch algorithm matches a set of peak lists to a specified reference peak list, neither of which have to be assigned. The chemical shift referencing offset between two peak lists is determined by optimizing an assignment-free match score function using either a complete grid search or downhill simplex optimization. It is shown that peak lists from many different types of spectra can be matched reliably as long as they contain at least two corresponding dimensions. Using a simulated peak list, the Peakmatch algorithm can also be used to obtain the optimal agreement between a chemical shift list and experimental peak lists. Combining these features makes Peakmatch a useful tool that can be applied routinely before automatic assignment or structure calculation in order to obtain an optimized input data set.
    Journal of Biomolecular NMR 01/2013; · 2.85 Impact Factor