Ragavan, M., et al., Real-Time Analysis of Folding upon Binding of a Disordered Protein by Using Dissolution DNP NMR Spectroscopy. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2017. 56(25): p. 7070-7073.
The kinase inhibitory domain of the cell cycle regulatory protein p27(Kip1) (p27) was nuclear spin hyperpolarized using dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (D-DNP). While intrinsically disordered in isolation, p27 adopts secondary structural motifs, including an alpha-helical structure, upon binding to cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2)/cyclin A. The sensitivity gains obtained with hyperpolarization enable the real-time observation of (13) C NMR signals during p27 folding upon binding to Cdk2/cyclin A on a time scale of several seconds. Time-dependent intensity changes are dependent on the extent of folding and binding, as manifested in differential spin relaxation. The analysis of signal decay rates suggests the existence of a partially folded p27 intermediate during the timescale of the D-DNP NMR experiment.