An improved ultrafast 2D NMR experiment: Towards atom-resolved real-time studies of protein kinetics at multi-Hz rates

Maayan Gal, Thomas Kern, Paul Schanda, Lucio Frydman*, Bernhard Brutscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multidimensional NMR spectroscopy is a well-established technique for the characterization of structure and fast-time-scale dynamics of highly populated ground states of biological macromolecules. The investigation of short-lived excited states that are important for molecular folding, misfolding and function, however, remains a challenge for modern biomolecular NMR techniques. Off-equilibrium real-time kinetic NMR methods allow direct observation of conformational or chemical changes by following peak positions and intensities in a series of spectra recorded during a kinetic event. Because standard multidimensional NMR methods required to yield sufficient atom-resolution are intrinsically time-consuming, many interesting phenomena are excluded from real-time NMR analysis. Recently, spatially encoded ultrafast 2D NMR techniques have been proposed that allow one to acquire a 2D NMR experiment within a single transient. In addition, when combined with the SOFAST technique, such ultrafast experiments can be repeated at high rates. One of the problems detected for such ultrafast protein NMR experiments is related to the heteronuclear decoupling during detection with interferences between the pulses and the oscillatory magnetic field gradients arising in this scheme. Here we present a method for improved ultrafast data acquisition yielding higher signal to noise and sharper lines in single-scan 2D NMR spectra. In combination with a fast-mixing device, the recording of 1H-15N correlation spectra with repetition rates of up to a few Hertz becomes feasible, enabling real-time studies of protein kinetics occurring on time scales down to a few seconds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomolecular NMR
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogen exchange
  • Multidimensional NMR
  • Real-time NMR
  • Single-transition spin state
  • Spatially encoded NMR
  • Ultrafast acquisition


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