Dynamics of Nucleic Acids at Room Temperature Revealed by Pulsed EPR Spectroscopy

Markus Gränz, Nicole Erlenbach, Philipp Spindler, Dnyaneshwar B. Gophane, Lukas S. Stelzl, Snorri Sigurdsson, Thomas F. Prisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The investigation of the structure and conformational dynamics of biomolecules under physiological conditions is challenging for structural biology. Although pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (like PELDOR) techniques provide long‐range distance and orientation information with high accuracy, such studies are usually performed at cryogenic temperatures. At room temperature (RT) PELDOR studies are seemingly impossible due to short electronic relaxation times and loss of dipolar interactions through rotational averaging. We incorporated the rigid nitroxide spin label Ç into a DNA duplex and immobilized the sample on a solid support to overcome this limitation. This enabled orientation‐selective PELDOR measurements at RT. A comparison with data recorded at 50 K revealed averaging of internal dynamics, which occur on the ns time range at RT. Thus, our approach adds a new method to study structural and dynamical processes at physiological temperature in the <10 μs time range with atomistic resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10540-10543
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2018

Other keywords

  • Conformational dynamics
  • DEER spectroscopy
  • DNA
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • PELDOR spectroscopy
  • Litrófsgreining
  • DNA-rannsóknir
  • Kjarnsýrur


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