Determination of protein–ligand binding modes using fast multi-dimensional NMR with hyperpolarization Academic Article uri icon


  • Elucidation of small molecule-protein interactions provides essential information for understanding biological processes such as cellular signaling, as well as for rational drug development. Here, multi-dimensional NMR with sensitivity enhancement by dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (D-DNP) is shown to allow the determination of the binding epitope of folic acid when complexed with the target dihydrofolate reductase. Protein signals are selectively enhanced by polarization transfer from the hyperpolarized ligand. A pseudo three-dimensional data acquisition with ligand-side Hadamard encoding results in protein-side [13C, 1H] chemical shift correlations that contain intermolecular nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) information. A scoring function based on this data is used to select pre-docked ligand poses. The top five poses are within 0.76 Å root-mean-square deviation from a reference structure for the encoded five protons, showing improvements compared with the poses selected by an energy-based scoring function without experimental inputs. The sensitivity enhancement provided by the D-DNP combined with multi-dimensional NMR increases the speed and potentially the selectivity of structure elucidation of ligand binding epitopes.

altmetric score

  • 2.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Y., Kim, J., & Hilty, C.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Yunyi||Kim, Jihyun||Hilty, Christian

publication date

  • June 2020