Deleterious effects of carbon–carbon dipolar coupling on RNA NMR dynamics

Hyeyeon Nam, Owen Becette, Regan M. LeBlanc, Daniel Oh, David A. Case, Theodore K. Dayie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Many regulatory RNAs undergo dynamic exchanges that are crucial for their biological functions and NMR spectroscopy is a versatile tool for monitoring dynamic motions of biomolecules. Meaningful information on biomolecular dynamics requires an accurate measurement of relaxation parameters such as longitudinal (R1) rates, transverse (R2) rates and heteronuclear Overhauser effect (hNOE). However, earlier studies have shown that the large 13C–13C interactions complicate analysis of the carbon relaxation parameters. To investigate the effect of 13C–13C interactions on RNA dynamic studies, we performed relaxation measurements on various RNA samples with different labeling patterns and compared these measurements with the computational simulations. For uniformly labeled samples, contributions of the neighboring carbon to R1 measurements were observed. These contributions increased with increasing magnetic field and overall correlation time (τC) for R1 rates, necessitating more careful analysis for uniformly labeled large RNAs. In addition, the hNOE measurements were also affected by the adjacent carbon nuclei. Unlike R1 rates, R rates showed relatively good agreement between uniformly- and site-selectively labeled samples, suggesting no dramatic effect from their attached carbon, in agreement with previous observations. Overall, having more accurate rate measurements avoids complex analysis and will be a key for interpreting 13C relaxation rates for molecular motion that can provide valuable insights into cellular molecular recognition events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of biomolecular NMR
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy


  • Chemical enzymatic labeling
  • Dipolar coupling
  • Heteronuclear overhauser effect (hNOE)
  • Longitudinal (R) relaxation
  • On-resonance R
  • RNA dynamics


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