Practical aspects of 1H transverse paramagnetic relaxation enhancement measurements on macromolecules

Junji Iwahara, Chun Tang, G. Marius Clore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


The use of 1H transverse paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) has seen a resurgence in recent years as method for providing long-range distance information for structural studies and as a probe of large amplitude motions and lowly populated transient intermediates in macromolecular association. In this paper we discuss various practical aspects pertaining to accurate measurement of PRE 1H transverse relaxation rates (Γ2). We first show that accurate Γ2 rates can be obtained from a two time-point measurement without requiring any fitting procedures or complicated error estimations, and no additional accuracy is achieved from multiple time-point measurements recorded in the same experiment time. Optimal setting of the two time-points that minimize experimental errors is also discussed. Next we show that the simplistic single time-point measurement that has been commonly used in the literature, can substantially underestimate the true value of Γ2, unless a relatively long repetition delay is employed. We then examine the field dependence of Γ2, and show that Γ2 exhibits only a very weak field dependence at high magnetic fields typically employed in macromolecular studies. The theoretical basis for this observation is discussed. Finally, we investigate the impact of contamination of the paramagnetic sample by trace amounts (≤5%) of the corresponding diamagnetic species on the accuracy of Γ2 measurements. Errors in Γ2 introduced by such diamagnetic contamination are potentially sizeable, but can be significantly reduced by using a relatively short time interval for the two time-point Γ2 measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • EDTA-Mn
  • H-T
  • Paramagnetic relaxation enhancement
  • Spin-label

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Practical aspects of 1H transverse paramagnetic relaxation enhancement measurements on macromolecules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this