▪ Abstract 

Two current frontiers in EPR research are high-field (ν > 70 GHz, > 2.5 T) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and high-field electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR). This review focuses on recent advances in high-field ENDOR and its applications to the study of proteins containing native paramagnetic sites. It concentrates on two aspects; the first concerns the determination of the location of protons and is related to the site geometry, and the second focuses on the spin density distribution within the site, which is inherent to the electronic structure. Both spin density and proton locations can be derived from ligand hyperfine couplings determined by ENDOR measurements. A brief description of the experimental methods is presented along with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of high-field ENDOR compared with conventional X-band (∼ 9.5 GHz) experiments. Specific examples of both protein single crystals and frozen solutions are then presented. These include the determination of the coordinates of water ligand protons in the Mn(II) site of concanavalin A, the detection of hydrogen bonds in a quinone radical in the bacterial photosynthetic reaction center as well as in the tyrosyl radical in ribonuclease reductase, and the study of the spin distribution in copper proteins. The copper proteins discussed are the type I copper of azurin and the binuclear Cu center in a number of proteins. The last part of the review presents a brief discussion of the interpretation of hyperfine couplings using quantum chemical calculations, primarily density functional theory (DFT) methods. Such methods are becoming an integral part of the data analysis tools, as they can facilitate signal assignment and provide the ultimate relation between the experimental hyperfine couplings and the electronic wave function.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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