Accurate structural determination of different conformational states during the transport cycle remains challenging, which is further complicated by varying degrees of conformational distribution. ESR12 will employ advanced EPR spectroscopy to derive structural information in form of distances and angles constraints for state-specific structural ensembles. The use of multiple labels and especially the integration of both NMR and EPR techniques and their application to membrane proteins is a novel and innovative aspect of this project. The specific objectives of ESR12 are:
- (i) to establish an efficient spin labelling protocol for a set of cysteine variants to study conformations and dynamics of LeuT and DAT in classically reconstituted proteoliposomes and in detergent-free encapsulated SMALPS.
- (ii) to determine coarse-grained distance restraints of the transport cycle using on DEER/PELDOR and/or RIDME distance measurements.
- (iii) to establish in close collaboration with ESR2 a combined NMR and EPR approach to determine transporter dynamics during ligand binding, occlusion and release.
- (iv) to develop a multi-label triangulation approach using iDEER and STD-NMR to measure distances and orientations.