The Escherichia coli ClpA protein, like many AAA+ motor proteins, is allosterically regulated by nucleotide binding. We have combined analytical ultracentrifugation approaches with dynamic light scattering (DLS) to examine the self-association properties and the allosteric linkage of assembly to nucleotide binding. Here we present a protocol for the rapid and precise determination of the diffusion coefficient using DLS measurements in a model-independent fashion. When combined with analytical ultracentrifugation experiments, such an approach can yield a more complete understanding of the hydrodynamic and thermodynamic properties of the system. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.