Pulse dipolar EPR reveals double-histidine motif CuII-NTA spin-labelling robustness against competitor ions

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Abstract

Pulse-dipolar EPR is an appealing strategy for structural characterization of complex systems in solution that complements other biophysical techniques. Significantly, the emergence of genetically encoded self-assembling spin labels exploiting exogenously introduced double-histidine motifs in conjunction with CuII-chelates offers high precision distance determination in systems nonpermissive to thiol-directed spin labeling. However, the noncovalency of this interaction exposes potential vulnerabilities to competition from adventitious divalent metal ions, and pH sensitivity. Herein, a combination of room-temperature isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and cryogenic relaxation-induced dipolar modulation enhancement (RIDME) measurements are applied to the model protein Streptococcus sp. group G. protein G, B1 domain (GB1). Results demonstrate double-histidine motif spin labeling using CuII-nitrilotriacetic acid (CuII–NTA) is robust against the competitor ligand ZnII–NTA at >1000-fold molar excess, and high nM binding affinity is surprisingly retained under acidic and basic conditions even though room temperature affinity shows a stronger pH dependence. This indicates the strategy is well-suited for diverse biological applications, with the requirement of other metal ion cofactors or slightly acidic pH not necessarily being prohibitive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2815-2819
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume12
Issue number11
Early online date13 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021

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