Analysis of Nitroxide-Based Distance Measurements in Cell Extracts and in Cells by Pulsed ESR Spectroscopy
Measurements of distances in cells by pulsed ESR spectroscopy afford tremendous opportunities to study proteins in native environments that are irreproducible in vitro. However, the in-cell environment is harsh towards the typical nitroxide radicals used in double electron-electron resonance (DEER) experiments. A systematic examination is performed on the loss of the DEER signal, including contributions from nitroxide decay and nitroxide side-chain cleavage. In addition, the possibility of extending the lifetime of the nitroxide radical by use of an oxidizing agent is investigated. Using this oxidizing agent, DEER distance measurements are performed on doubly nitroxide-labeled GB1, the immunoglobulin-binding domain of protein G, at varying incubation times in the cellular environment. It is found that, by comparison of the loss of DEER signal to the loss of the CW spectrum, cleavage of the nitroxide side chain contributes to the loss of DEER signal, which is significantly greater in cells than in cell extracts. Finally, local spin concentrations are monitored at varying incubation times to show the time required for molecular diffusion of a small globular protein within the cellular milieu.
ESR spectroscopy, double electron-electron resonance, in-cell measurements, proteins, radicals
Lawless MJ, Shimshi A, Cunningham TF, Kinde M, Tang HT, Tang P, Saxena S. Analysis of Nitroxide-Based Distance Measurements in Cell Extracts and in Cells by Pulsed ESR Spectroscopy. ChemPhysChem. 2017; 18(12). doi: 10.1002/cphc.201700115.