Addition of Bio-Magic Angle Spinning (MAS) Probe to 900-Megahertz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer at the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) Allows EMSL Users to Begin Studying the Structure of Proteins in the Solid State


New EMSL capability advances the ability of the scientific community to determine the structures of membrane-bound proteins. One of the marquee capabilities at the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a national scientific user facility located in Richland, Washington, is the 900 megahertz (MHz) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. A primary component of an NMR is the sample probe, which holds the sample, sends radiofrequency energy into the sample, and detects the signal emanating from the sample. A unique, Varian bio-magic angle spinning (MAS) probe recently has been coupled to the 900-MHz NMR at the EMSL and has helped EMSL users from the University of Illinois and PNNL begin to determine the structure of a small protein in the solid state. Chad Rienstra from the University of Illinois and Andrew Lipton from PNNL used the bio-MAS probe in EMSL’s 900 MHz NMR to obtain high resolution and spectacular spectra of microcrystalline GB1, a streptococcal protein. These spectra will help to address ambiguities encountered by Dr. Rienstra in similar experiments using a 750-MHz NMR system. Although a few lower-field, bio-MAS probe/NMR systems exist, the new bio-MAS probe/900-MHz NMR system at EMSL is a unique, one-of-a-kind system.