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Prediction of 19F NMR Chemical Shifts in Labeled Proteins

Isley, W. C., III; Urick, A.; Pomerantz, W. C. K.; Cramer, C. J.
Mol. Pharmaceutics 2016, 13, 2376 (doi:10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.6b00137).

The structural analysis of ligand complexation in biomolecular systems is important in the design of new medicinal therapeutic agents; however, monitoring subtle structural changes in a protein's microenvironment is a challenging and complex problem. In this regard, the use of protein-based 19F NMR for screening low-molecular-weight molecules (i.e., fragments) can be an especially powerful tool to aid in drug design. Resonance assignment of the protein's 19F NMR spectrum is necessary for structural analysis. Here, a quantum chemical method has been developed as an initial approach to facilitate the assignment of a fluorinated protein's 19F NMR spectrum. The epigenetic "reader" domain of protein Brd4 was taken as a case study to assess the strengths and limitations of the method. The overall modeling protocol predicts chemical shifts for residues in rigid proteins with good accuracy; proper accounting for explicit solvation of fluorinated residues by water is critical.