Physical Chemistry

Making the invisible visible: fast magic-angle-spinning NMR reveals the evasive hepatitis B virus capsid functional C-terminal domain



Experimentally determined protein structures often feature missing domains. One example is the C terminal domain (CTD) of the hepatitis B virus capsid protein, a functionally central part of this assembly, crucial in regulated nucleic-acid interactions, cellular trafficking, nuclear import, particle assembly and maturation. However, its structure remained elusive to all current techniques, including NMR. Here we show that the recently developed proton-detected fast magic-angle-spinning solid-state NMR at >100 kHz MAS is a game changer that allows to detect this domain and unveil its structural and dynamic behavior. We describe the experimental framework used and compare the domain’s behavior in different capsid states. The developed approaches extend solid-state NMR observations to residues characterized by large-amplitude motion on the microsecond timescale, and shall allow to shed light on other flexible protein domains still lacking their structural and dynamic characterization.


Thumbnail image of Arg_ready_to_submit.pdf

Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of Arg_SI_ready_to_submit_BM.pdf
Supplementary Information
Provides Materials and Methods, Supplementary Figures and Tables