Multifrequency electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), combined with site-directed spin labeling, is a powerful spectroscopic tool to characterize protein dynamics. The lineshape of an EPR spectrum reflects combined rotational dynamics of the spin probe's local motion within a protein, reorientations of protein domains, and overall protein tumbling. All these motions can be restricted and anisotropic, and separation of these motions is important for thorough characterization of protein dynamics. Multifrequency EPR distinguishes between different motions of a spin-labeled protein, due to the frequency dependence of EPR resolution to fast and slow motion of a spin probe. This gives multifrequency EPR its unique capability to characterize protein dynamics in great detail. In this review, we analyze what makes multifrequency EPR sensitive to different rates of spin probe motion and discuss several examples of its usage to separate spin probe dynamics and overall protein dynamics, to characterize protein backbone dynamics, and to resolve protein conformational states.
- Multifrequency electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR)
- Protein dynamics
- Site-directed spin labeling
- Spin probe motion