The solution structure and dynamics of apo bovine calbindin D9k have been studied by a wide range of two-dimensional 1H nuclear magnetic resonance experiments. Due to the presence of conformational heterogeneity in the wild-type protein, the sequential resonance assignment was carried out on a Pro43----Gly mutant. By use of a combination of scalar correlation experiments acquired from H2O solution, 61 of the 76 1H spin systems could be assigned to particular amino acid types. The remaining resonances were assigned by a parallel series of experiments acquired from 2H2O solution. These spin system assignments provided a basis for complete sequential resonance assignments from interresidue backbone nuclear Overhauser effects (NOEs). Elements of secondary structure were identified from sequential and medium-range NOEs, backbone spin-spin coupling constants, and slowly exchanging amide protons. Four sections of helix are delineated, together with a short antiparallel beta-sheet interaction between the peptide loops involved in Ca2+ binding. The global fold is provided by combining these elements of secondary structure with a subset of the long-range, interhelix NOEs. Comparison with similar studies on the Ca2(+)-saturated protein indicates that at this crude level the structures are very similar. However, removal of the Ca2+ does dramatically affect the dynamics of the protein, as judged by amide proton exchange rates and aromatic ring rotation. This is particularly evident in the increased flexibility of the residues in the hydrophobic core.