Distance measurements in the borderline region of applicability of CW EPR and DEER: a model study on a homologous series of spin-labelled peptides.
Banham JE., Baker CM., Ceola S., Day IJ., Grant GH., Groenen EJ., Rodgers CT., Jeschke G., Timmel CR.
Inter-spin distances between 1 nm and 4.5 nm are measured by continuous wave (CW) and pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) methods for a series of nitroxide-spin-labelled peptides. The upper distance limit for measuring dipolar coupling by the broadening of the CW spectrum and the lower distance limit for the present optimally-adjusted double electron electron resonance (DEER) set-up are determined and found to be both around 1.6-1.9 nm. The methods for determining distances and corresponding distributions from CW spectral line broadening are reviewed and further developed. Also, the work shows that a correction factor is required for the analysis of inter-spin distances below approximately 2 nm for DEER measurements and this is calculated using the density matrix formalism.