Quantifying Proton NMR Coherent Linewidth in Proteins Under Fast MAS Conditions: A Second Moment Approach
Proton detected solid-state NMR under fast magic-angle spinning conditions is currently redefining the applications of solid-state NMR, in particular in structural biology. Understanding the contributions to the spectral linewidth is thereby of paramount importance. When disregarding the sample-dependent inhomogeneous contributions, the NMR proton linewidth is defined by homogenous broadening, which has incoherent and coherent contributions. Understanding and disentangling these different contributions in multi-spin systems like proteins is still an open issue. The coherent contribution is mainly caused by the dipolar interaction under MAS and is determined by the molecular structure and the proton chemical shifts. Numerical simulation approaches based on direct integration of the Liouville-von Neumann equation can give valuable information about the line shape, but are limited to small spin systems (< 12 spins). We present an alternative simulation method for the coherent contributions based on the rapid and partially analytic calculation of the second moments of large spin systems. We first validate the method on a simple system by predicting the 19F linewidth in CaF2 under MAS. We compare simulation results to experimental data for microcrystalline Ubiquitin (deuterated 100% back-exchanged at 110 kHz and fully-protonated at 125 kHz). Our results quantitatively explain the observed linewidth per-residue basis for the vast majority of residues.