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Biological Chemistry

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19F NMR as a versatile tool to study membrane protein structure and dynamics

Dania Rose-Sperling
  • Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 30, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Centre for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance (BMRZ), Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue Str. 9, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Mai Anh Tran
  • Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 30, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Centre for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance (BMRZ), Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue Str. 9, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luca M. Lauth
  • Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 30, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Benedikt Goretzki
  • Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 30, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Centre for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance (BMRZ), Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue Str. 9, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ute A. HellmichORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7162-285X
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 30, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
  • Centre for Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance (BMRZ), Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue Str. 9, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany
  • orcid.org/0000-0001-7162-285X
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2019-05-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2018-0473


To elucidate the structures and dynamics of membrane proteins, highly advanced biophysical methods have been developed that often require significant resources, both for sample preparation and experimental analyses. For very complex systems, such as membrane transporters, ion channels or G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), the incorporation of a single reporter at a select site can significantly simplify the observables and the measurement/analysis requirements. Here we present examples using 19F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as a powerful, yet relatively straightforward tool to study (membrane) protein structure, dynamics and ligand interactions. We summarize methods to incorporate 19F labels into proteins and discuss the type of information that can be readily obtained for membrane proteins already from relatively simple NMR spectra with a focus on GPCRs as the membrane protein family most extensively studied by this technique. In the future, these approaches may be of particular interest also for many proteins that undergo complex functional dynamics and/or contain unstructured regions and thus are not amenable to X-ray crystallography or cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) studies.

Keywords: 19F NMR spectroscopy; GPCR; labeling schemes; membrane protein; protein dynamics


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About the article

Received: 2018-12-20

Accepted: 2019-04-17

Published Online: 2019-05-23

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, 20180473, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2018-0473.

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