A novel iterative procedure is described that allows both the orientation and dynamics of internuclear bond vectors to be determined from direct interpretation of NMR dipolar couplings, measured under at least three orthogonal alignment conditions. If five orthogonal alignments are available, the approach also yields information on the degree of motional anisotropy and the direction in which the largest amplitude internal motion of each bond vector takes place. The method is demonstrated for the backbone (15)N-(1)H, (13)C(alpha)-(1)H(alpha), and (13)C(alpha)-13C' interactions in the previously well-studied protein domain GB3, dissolved in a liquid crystalline suspension of filamentous phage Pf1. Alignment variation is achieved by using conservative mutations of charged surface residues. Results indicate remarkably uniform backbone dynamics, with amplitudes that agree well with those of previous (15)N relaxation studies for most residues involved in elements of secondary structure, but larger amplitude dynamics than those found by (15)N relaxation for residues in loop and turn regions. In agreement with a previous analysis of dipolar couplings, the N-H bonds in the second beta-strand, which is involved in antibody recognition, show elevated dynamics with largest amplitudes orthogonal to the chain direction.
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