Intrinsically disordered regions of significant length are present throughout eukaryotic genomes, and are particularly prevalent in viral proteins. Due to their inherent flexibility, these proteins inhabit a conformational landscape that is too complex to be described by classical structural biology. The elucidation of the role that conformational flexibility plays in molecular function will redefine our understanding of the molecular basis of biological function, and the development of appropriate technology to achieve this aim remains one of the major challenges for the future of structural biology. NMR is the technique of choice for studying intrinsically disordered proteins, providing information about structure, flexibility and interactions at atomic resolution even in completely disordered proteins. In particular residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) are sensitive and powerful tools for determining local and long-range structural behaviour in flexible proteins. Here we describe recent applications of the use of RDCs to quantitatively describe the level of local structure in intrinsically disordered proteins involved in replication and transcription in Sendai virus.
Keywords: Intrinsic disorder, Molecular recognition, NMR, Nucleoprotein, Phosphoprotein, Residual dipolar couplings, Sendai virus
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