JoVE: Paramagnetic Relaxation Enhancement for Detecting and Characterizing Self-Associations of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins (Libich Lab)
Intrinsically disordered proteins and intrinsically disordered regions within proteins make up a large and functionally significant part of the human proteome. The highly flexible nature of these sequences allows them to form weak, long-range, and transient interactions with diverse biomolecular partners. Specific yet low-affinity interactions promote promiscuous binding and enable a single intrinsically disordered segment to interact with a multitude of target sites. Because of the transient nature of these interactions, they can be difficult to characterize by structural biology methods that rely on proteins to form a single, predominant conformation. Paramagnetic relaxation enhancement NMR is a useful tool for identifying and defining the structural underpinning of weak and transient interactions. A detailed protocol for using paramagnetic relaxation enhancement to characterize the lowly-populated encounter complexes that form between intrinsically disordered proteins and their protein, nucleic acid, or other biomolecular partners is described.