Long-Range Distance Constraints in Biomacromolecules by a Combined Approach of Site-Directed Spin Labeling and Double Electron–Electron Resonance (DEER) Spectroscopy

  • Mykhailo Azarkh
  • Malte Drescher
Reference work entry


Double electron–electron resonance (DEER) is a technique for measuring nanometer-range distances between dipolar coupled electron spins, which is widely used to obtain structural information on biomacromolecules. The DEER technique is based on electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. If there are no native unpaired electrons, spin labels are introduced into the biomacromolecule by site-directed spin labeling (SDSL). DEER yields a characteristic distance distribution between spin labels, which is then translated into structural information about the biomacromolecule. Performance of DEER depends strongly on the experimental design, i.e., (i) the selection of spin labels and ways of their attachment and (ii) the choice of the experimental setup and conditions. Analysis and interpretation of the obtained distance distribution can be performed with dedicated open-source software and with different degrees of sophistication. Current developments in the field of distance measurements by a combination of SDSL and DEER are described.


DEER PELDOR Nitroxide Triarylmethyl Gadolinium Site-directed spin labeling Rotamer library Orientation selection Arbitrary waveform generator Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy EPR 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology (KoRS-CB)University of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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