Course content this year has been selected to help provide a "kick start" to protein NMR and structure determination. We hope that anyone relatively new to protein NMR will benefit from it!
The level of instruction is aimed at Year 1 & 2 PhD students working with protein NMR, but anyone is very welcome to attend. Introductions to each topic will be given, to bring everyone to the same level at the outset. Exposure to basic NMR spectroscopy is assumed. Here is the daily schedule.
Monday 3rd November
Day 1 - Fundamental concepts in protein NMR (Instructor: Prof Mike Williamson)
There are many aspects to the study of proteins by NMR - sample preparation, data acquisition, resonance assignment, protein-partner interactions, dynamics studies, structure determination, to name a few. The key to success in all of these areas (beyond sample prep) is undoubtedly a solid understanding of the principles that underlie this incredible technique. Today, Prof Williamson (who determined the very first NMR structure of a globular protein) will provide us with all the essential concepts leading up to an explanation of how the HSQC sequence works and why relaxation matters in NMR. Spins, on- & off-resonant pulses, J-coupling, vector and product operator descriptions, quadrature detection, spin echo, INEPT, gradients, from 2D to 3D, T1 & T2 relaxation, CSA, 15N relaxation, spectral densities, model-free approach are just some of the topics he will cover. Interspersed throughout the day with useful exercises to test your understanding, this is definitely not a day to be missed by any discerning NMR spectroscopist!
Tuesday 4th November
Day 2 - Resonance assignment & protein-protein interactions (Instructors: Dr Simon Skinner & Dr Marc Lenoir)
Much of the groundwork in the study of proteins by NMR lies in today's subject: resonance assignment. The importance of knowing from which precise nucleus in the protein a signal in your spectrum arises is clear. Indeed, resonance assignment forms the basis for most, if not all, methods of spectral analysis. Anyone studying proteins by NMR will soon be immersed in assigning resonances to specific nuclei in their protein, and this can be a time-consuming process. Dr Skinner from the CCPN Project team will introduce the topic and show how the freely-available and actively-supported CcpNmr Analysis software can assist in this crucial task. Much of the day will be spent getting to grips with the software hands-on - the best way to learn. Once your HSQC spectrum is assigned, this is your gateway to a whole host of further useful data analyses, including those involving protein-protein interactions. Dr Lenoir (Birmingham post-doc) will take us through a docking case-study to show how chemical shift perturbation data, resulting from NMR titration experiments, can be used to study protein complexes using HADDOCK software.
Wednesday 5th November
Day 3 - Structure calculation & evaluation (Instructor: Dr Simon Skinner)
The mystery of structure determination by NMR is uncovered today by Dr Skinner, who will reveal what spectral data are required for structure calculation and why. After an introductory lecture, the remainder of the day will focus on working with NOE spectra and structural data using CcpNmr Analysis, ARIA and CYANA.