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Integration of SAXS and NMR for Structure Determination of Biomolecules

The combined results from small-angle X-ray scattering and NMR spectroscopy reveals complete structural information on bio-molecular complexes and contributes to a better understanding their role in biological processes.

Analysis of complex biomolecular sample systems 

Structural and dynamic characterization of bio-molecular protein complexes is the key for under-standing essential biological processes and mecha-nisms and their role in diseases. The complexity of these systems as well as the necessity to measure them in their native state, i.e. in solution, renders them difficult for conventional structural biology techniques. 

The combination of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spec-troscopy meets this requirement: both methods com-plement each other in a way that 

  • SAXS reveals the overall 3-dimensional shape and size of bio-molecular complexes in solution, i.e. in native state, and
  • NMR provides high-resolution information on inter-atomic distances, binding interfaces and orienta-tion of subunits. 

Both SAXS data and NMR data are combined in a modeling step for determining the structure of large and complex bio-molecular assemblies.

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