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Sample records for carrier protein crystal

  1. Structure of apo acyl carrier protein and a proposal to engineer protein crystallization through metal ions

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu, Xiayang; Janson, Cheryl A.

    2010-11-16

    A topic of current interest is engineering surface mutations in order to improve the success rate of protein crystallization. This report explores the possibility of using metal-ion-mediated crystal-packing interactions to facilitate rational design. Escherichia coli apo acyl carrier protein was chosen as a test case because of its high content of negatively charged carboxylates suitable for metal binding with moderate affinity. The protein was successfully crystallized in the presence of zinc ions. The crystal structure was determined to 1.1 {angstrom} resolution with MAD phasing using anomalous signals from the co-crystallized Zn{sup 2+} ions. The case study suggested an integrated strategy for crystallization and structure solution of proteins via engineering surface Asp and Glu mutants, crystallizing them in the presence of metal ions such as Zn{sup 2+} and solving the structures using anomalous signals.

  2. A synergistic approach to protein crystallization: Combination of a fixed-arm carrier with surface entropy reduction

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Andrea F; Mueller, Geoffrey A; Zhong, Xuejun; Pedersen, Lars C

    2010-01-01

    Protein crystallographers are often confronted with recalcitrant proteins not readily crystallizable, or which crystallize in problematic forms. A variety of techniques have been used to surmount such obstacles: crystallization using carrier proteins or antibody complexes, chemical modification, surface entropy reduction, proteolytic digestion, and additive screening. Here we present a synergistic approach for successful crystallization of proteins that do not form diffraction quality crystals using conventional methods. This approach combines favorable aspects of carrier-driven crystallization with surface entropy reduction. We have generated a series of maltose binding protein (MBP) fusion constructs containing different surface mutations designed to reduce surface entropy and encourage crystal lattice formation. The MBP advantageously increases protein expression and solubility, and provides a streamlined purification protocol. Using this technique, we have successfully solved the structures of three unrelated proteins that were previously unattainable. This crystallization technique represents a valuable rescue strategy for protein structure solution when conventional methods fail. PMID:20196072

  3. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabK) from Streptococcus pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    Saito, Jun Yamada, Mototsugu; Watanabe, Takashi; Kitagawa, Hideo; Takeuchi, Yasuo

    2006-06-01

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductases are responsible for bacterial type II fatty-acid biosynthesis and are attractive targets for developing novel antibiotics. The S. pneumoniae enoyl-ACP reductase (FabK) was crystallized and selenomethionine MAD data were collected to 2 Å resolution. The enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase from Streptococcus pneumoniae (FabK; EC 1.3.1.9) is responsible for catalyzing the final step in each elongation cycle of fatty-acid biosynthesis. Selenomethionine-substituted FabK was purified and crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method at 277 K. The crystal belongs to space group P2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 50.26, b = 126.70, c = 53.63 Å, β = 112.46°. Diffraction data were collected to 2.00 Å resolution using synchrotron beamline BL32B2 at SPring-8. Two molecules were estimated to be present in the asymmetric unit, with a solvent content of 45.1%.

  4. The crystal structure of BlmI as a model for nonribosomal peptide synthetase peptidyl carrier proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lohman, Jeremy R.; Ma, Ming; Cuff, Marianne E.; Bigelow, Lance; Bearden, Jessica; Babnigg, Gyorgy; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Phillips, George N.; Shen, Ben

    2014-01-01

    Carrier proteins (CPs) play a critical role in the biosynthesis of various natural products, especially in nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) enzymology, where the CPs are referred to as peptidyl-carrier proteins (PCPs) or acyl-carrier proteins (ACPs), respectively. CPs can either be a domain in large multifunctional polypeptides or standalone proteins, termed Type I and Type II, respectively. There have been many biochemical studies of the Type I PKS and NRPS CPs, and of Type II ACPs. However, recently a number of Type II PCPs have been found and biochemically characterized. In order to understand the possible interaction surfaces for combinatorial biosynthetic efforts we crystallized the first characterized and representative Type II PCP member, BlmI, from the bleomycin biosynthetic pathway from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC 15003. The structure is similar to CPs in general but most closely resembles PCPs. Comparisons with previously determined PCP structures in complex with catalytic domains reveals a common interaction surface. This surface is highly variable in charge and shape, which likely confers specificity for interactions. Previous nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis of a prototypical Type I PCP excised from the multimodular context revealed three conformational states. Comparison of the states with the structure of BlmI and other PCPs reveals that only one of the NMR states is found in other studies, suggesting the other two states may not be relevant. The state represented by the BlmI crystal structure can therefore serve as a model for both Type I and Type II PCPs. PMID:25050442

  5. Crystal Structure of a Sulfur Carrier Protein Complex Found in the Cysteine Biosynthetic Pathway of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    SciTech Connect

    Jurgenson, Christopher T.; Burns, Kristin E.; Begley, Tadhg P.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2008-10-02

    The structure of the protein complex CysM-CysO from a new cysteine biosynthetic pathway found in the H37Rv strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been determined at 1.53 {angstrom} resolution. CysM (Rv1336) is a PLP-containing {beta}-replacement enzyme and CysO (Rv1335) is a sulfur carrier protein with a ubiquitin-like fold. CysM catalyzes the replacement of the acetyl group of O-acetylserine by CysO thiocarboxylate to generate a protein-bound cysteine that is released in a subsequent proteolysis reaction. The protein complex in the crystal structure is asymmetric with one CysO protomer binding to one end of a CysM dimer. Additionally, the structures of CysM and CysO were determined individually at 2.8 and 2.7 {angstrom} resolution, respectively. Sequence alignments with homologues and structural comparisons with CysK, a cysteine synthase that does not utilize a sulfur carrier protein, revealed high conservation of active site residues; however, residues in CysM responsible for CysO binding are not conserved. Comparison of the CysM-CysO binding interface with other sulfur carrier protein complexes revealed a similarity in secondary structural elements that contribute to complex formation in the ThiF-ThiS and MoeB-MoaD systems, despite major differences in overall folds. Comparison of CysM with and without bound CysO revealed conformational changes associated with CysO binding.

  6. Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alexander A.

    2005-01-01

    Nucleation, growth and perfection of protein crystals will be overviewed along with crystal mechanical properties. The knowledge is based on experiments using optical and force crystals behave similar to inorganic crystals, though with a difference in orders of magnitude in growing parameters. For example, the low incorporation rate of large biomolecules requires up to 100 times larger supersaturation to grow protein, rather than inorganic crystals. Nucleation is often poorly reproducible, partly because of turbulence accompanying the mixing of precipitant with protein solution. Light scattering reveals fluctuations of molecular cluster size, its growth, surface energies and increased clustering as protein ages. Growth most often occurs layer-by-layer resulting in faceted crystals. New molecular layer on crystal face is terminated by a step where molecular incorporation occurs. Quantitative data on the incorporation rate will be discussed. Rounded crystals with molecularly disordered interfaces will be explained. Defects in crystals compromise the x-ray diffraction resolution crucially needed to find the 3D atomic structure of biomolecules. The defects are immobile so that birth defects stay forever. All lattice defects known for inorganics are revealed in protein crystals. Contribution of molecular conformations to lattice disorder is important, but not studied. This contribution may be enhanced by stress field from other defects. Homologous impurities (e.g., dimers, acetylated molecules) are trapped more willingly by a growing crystal than foreign protein impurities. The trapped impurities induce internal stress eliminated in crystals exceeding a critical size (part of mni for ferritin, lysozyme). Lesser impurities are trapped from stagnant, as compared to the flowing, solution. Freezing may induce much more defects unless quickly amorphysizing intracrystalline water.

  7. Crystal structures and kinetic properties of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase I from Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ling; Gao, Zengqiang; Li, Yanhua; Wang, Shennan; Dong, Yuhui

    2014-04-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB) is a destructive citrus disease. The leading cause of HLB is Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Fatty acid biosynthesis is essential for bacterial viability and has been validated as a target for the discovery of novel antibacterial agents. Enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (also called ENR or FabI and a product of the fabI gene) is an enzyme required in a critical step of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and has attracted attention as a target of novel antimicrobial agents. We determined the crystal structures of FabI from Ca. L. asiaticus in its apoform as well as in complex with b-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) at 1.7 and 2.7 Å resolution, respectively, to facilitate the design and screening of small molecule inhibitors of FabI. The monomeric ClFabI is highly similar to other known FabI structures as expected; however, unlike the typical tetramer, ClFabI exists as a hexamer in crystal, whereas as dimer in solution, on the other hand, the substrate binding loop which always disordered in apoform FabI structures is ordered in apo-ClFabI. Interestingly, the structure of ClFabI undergoes remarkable conformational change in the substrate-binding loop in the presence of NAD. We conclude that the signature sequence motif of FabI can be considered as Gly-(Xaa)5-Ser-(Xaa)n-Val-Tyr-(Xaa)6-Lys-(Xaa)n-Thr instead of Tyr-(Xaa)6-Lys. We have further identified isoniazid as a competitive inhibitor with NADH. PMID:24407918

  8. Crystal structures and kinetic properties of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase I from Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ling; Gao, Zengqiang; Li, Yanhua; Wang, Shennan; Dong, Yuhui

    2014-01-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB) is a destructive citrus disease. The leading cause of HLB is Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Fatty acid biosynthesis is essential for bacterial viability and has been validated as a target for the discovery of novel antibacterial agents. Enoyl−acyl carrier protein reductase (also called ENR or FabI and a product of the fabI gene) is an enzyme required in a critical step of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and has attracted attention as a target of novel antimicrobial agents. We determined the crystal structures of FabI from Ca. L. asiaticus in its apoform as well as in complex with b-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) at 1.7 and 2.7 Å resolution, respectively, to facilitate the design and screening of small molecule inhibitors of FabI. The monomeric ClFabI is highly similar to other known FabI structures as expected; however, unlike the typical tetramer, ClFabI exists as a hexamer in crystal, whereas as dimer in solution, on the other hand, the substrate binding loop which always disordered in apoform FabI structures is ordered in apo-ClFabI. Interestingly, the structure of ClFabI undergoes remarkable conformational change in the substrate-binding loop in the presence of NAD. We conclude that the signature sequence motif of FabI can be considered as Gly-(Xaa)5-Ser-(Xaa)n-Val-Tyr-(Xaa)6-Lys-(Xaa)n-Thr instead of Tyr-(Xaa)6-Lys. We have further identified isoniazid as a competitive inhibitor with NADH. PMID:24407918

  9. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein and biotin protein ligase complex from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3.

    PubMed

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Matsuura, Yoshinori; Bagautdinova, Svetlana; Kunishima, Naoki

    2007-04-01

    Biotin protein ligase (BPL) catalyses the biotinylation of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. To elucidate the exact details of the protein-protein interactions in the biotinylation function, the C-terminal half fragment of BCCP (BCCPDeltaN76), the R48A mutant of BPL (BPL*) and the R48A K111A double mutant of BPL (BPL**), all of which are from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3, have been expressed, purified and successfully cocrystallized. Cocrystals of the BPL*-BCCPDeltaN76 and BPL**-BCCPDeltaN76 complexes as well as crystals of BPL*, BPL** and BCCPDeltaN76 were obtained by the oil-microbatch method using PEG 20 000 as a precipitant at 295 K. Complete X-ray diffraction data sets for BPL*-BCCPDeltaN76 and BPL**-BCCPDeltaN76 crystals were collected at 100 K to 2.7 and 2.0 A resolution, respectively, using synchrotron radiation. They belong to the monoclinic space group P2(1), with similar unit-cell parameters a = 69.85, b = 63.12, c = 75.64 A, beta = 95.9 degrees . Assuming two subunits of the complex per asymmetric unit gives a V(M) value of 2.45 A(3) Da(-1) and a solvent content of 50%. PMID:17401210

  10. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein and biotin protein ligase complex from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3

    PubMed Central

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Matsuura, Yoshinori; Bagautdinova, Svetlana; Kunishima, Naoki

    2007-01-01

    Biotin protein ligase (BPL) catalyses the biotinylation of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. To elucidate the exact details of the protein–protein interactions in the biotinylation function, the C-terminal half fragment of BCCP (BCCPΔN76), the R48A mutant of BPL (BPL*) and the R48A K111A double mutant of BPL (BPL**), all of which are from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3, have been expressed, purified and successfully cocrystallized. Cocrystals of the BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 complexes as well as crystals of BPL*, BPL** and BCCPΔN76 were obtained by the oil-microbatch method using PEG 20 000 as a precipitant at 295 K. Complete X-ray diffraction data sets for BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 crystals were collected at 100 K to 2.7 and 2.0 Å resolution, respectively, using synchrotron radiation. They belong to the monoclinic space group P21, with similar unit-cell parameters a = 69.85, b = 63.12, c = 75.64 Å, β = 95.9°. Assuming two subunits of the complex per asymmetric unit gives a V M value of 2.45 Å3 Da−1 and a solvent content of 50%. PMID:17401210

  11. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein and biotin protein ligase complex from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3

    SciTech Connect

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Matsuura, Yoshinori; Bagautdinova, Svetlana; Kunishima, Naoki

    2007-04-01

    A truncated form of biotin carboxyl carrier protein containing the C-terminal half fragment (BCCPΔN76) and the biotin protein ligase (BPL) with the mutation R48A (BPL*) or the double mutation R48A K111A (BPL**) were successfully cocrystallized in the presence of ATP and biotin. The BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 crystals belong to space group P2{sub 1} and diffract X-rays to 2.7 and 2.0 Å resolution, respectively. Biotin protein ligase (BPL) catalyses the biotinylation of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. To elucidate the exact details of the protein–protein interactions in the biotinylation function, the C-terminal half fragment of BCCP (BCCPΔN76), the R48A mutant of BPL (BPL*) and the R48A K111A double mutant of BPL (BPL**), all of which are from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3, have been expressed, purified and successfully cocrystallized. Cocrystals of the BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 complexes as well as crystals of BPL*, BPL** and BCCPΔN76 were obtained by the oil-microbatch method using PEG 20 000 as a precipitant at 295 K. Complete X-ray diffraction data sets for BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 crystals were collected at 100 K to 2.7 and 2.0 Å resolution, respectively, using synchrotron radiation. They belong to the monoclinic space group P2{sub 1}, with similar unit-cell parameters a = 69.85, b = 63.12, c = 75.64 Å, β = 95.9°. Assuming two subunits of the complex per asymmetric unit gives a V{sub M} value of 2.45 Å{sup 3} Da{sup −1} and a solvent content of 50%.

  12. X-Ray Crystal Structure of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis β-Ketoacyl Acyl Carrier Protein Synthase II (mtKasB)

    PubMed Central

    Sridharan, Sudharsan; Wang, Lei; Brown, Alistair K.; Dover, Lynn G.; Kremer, Laurent; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Sacchettini, James C.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Mycolic acids are long chain α-alkyl branched, β-hydroxy fatty acids that represent a characteristic component of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall. Through their covalent attachment to peptidoglycan via an arabinogalactan polysaccharide, they provide the basis for an essential outer envelope membrane. Mycobacteria possess two fatty acid synthases (FAS); FAS-I carries out de novo synthesis of fatty acids while FAS-II is considered to elongate medium chain length fatty acyl primers to provide long chain (C56) precursors of mycolic acids. Here we report the crystal structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis β-ketoacyl acyl carrier protein synthase (ACP) II mtKasB, a mycobacterial elongation condensing enzyme involved in FAS-II. This enzyme, along with the M. tuberculosis β-ketoacyl ACP synthase I mtKasA, catalyzes the Claisen-type condensation reaction responsible for fatty acyl elongation in FAS-II and are potential targets for development of novel anti-tubercular drugs. The crystal structure refined to 2.4 Å resolution revealed that, like other KAS-II enzymes, mtKasB adopts a thiolase fold but contains unique structural features in the capping region that may be crucial to its preference for longer fatty acyl chains than its counterparts from other bacteria. Modeling of mtKasA using the mtKasB structure as a template predicts the overall structures to be almost identical, but a larger entrance to the active site tunnel is envisaged that might contribute to the greater sensitivity of mtKasA to the inhibitor thiolactomycin (TLM). Modeling of TLM binding in mtKasB shows that the drug fits the active site poorly and results of enzyme inhibition assays using TLM analogues are wholly consistent with our structural observations. Consequently, the structure described here further highlights the potential of TLM as an anti-tubercular lead compound and will aid further exploration of the TLM scaffold towards the design of novel compounds which inhibit

  13. Crystal Structure of Epiphyas Postvittana Takeout 1 With Bound Ubiquinone Supports a Role As Ligand Carriers for Takeout Proteins in Insects

    SciTech Connect

    Hamiaux, C.; Stanley, D.; Greenwood, D.R.; Baker, E.N.; Newcomb, R.D.

    2009-05-19

    Takeout (To) proteins are found exclusively in insects and have been proposed to have important roles in various aspects of their physiology and behavior. Limited sequence similarity with juvenile hormone-binding proteins (JHBPs), which specifically bind and transport juvenile hormones in Lepidoptera, suggested a role for To proteins in binding hydrophobic ligands. We present the first crystal structure of a To protein, EpTo1 from the light brown apple moth Epiphyas postvittana, solved in-house by the single-wavelength anomalous diffraction technique using sulfur anomalous dispersion, and refined to 1.3 {angstrom} resolution. EpTo1 adopts the unusual {alpha}/{beta}-wrap fold, seen only for JHBP and several mammalian lipid carrier proteins, a scaffold tailored for the binding and/or transport of hydrophobic ligands. EpTo1 has a 45 {angstrom} long, purely hydrophobic, internal tunnel that extends for the full length of the protein and accommodates a bound ligand. The latter was shown by mass spectrometry to be ubiquinone-8 and is probably derived from Escherichia coli. The structure provides the first direct experimental evidence that To proteins are ligand carriers; gives insights into the nature of endogenous ligand(s) of EpTo1; shows, by comparison with JHBP, a basis for different ligand specificities; and suggests a mechanism for the binding/release of ligands.

  14. Crystal Structure of the Human Fatty Acid Synthase Enoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein-Reductase Domain Complexed with Triclosan Reveals Allosteric Protein-Protein Interface Inhibition*

    PubMed Central

    Sippel, Katherine H.; Vyas, Nand K.; Zhang, Wei; Sankaran, Banumathi; Quiocho, Florante A.

    2014-01-01

    Human fatty acid synthase (FAS) is a large, multidomain protein that synthesizes long chain fatty acids. Because these fatty acids are primarily provided by diet, FAS is normally expressed at low levels; however, it is highly up-regulated in many cancers. Human enoyl-acyl carrier protein-reductase (hER) is one of the FAS catalytic domains, and its inhibition by drugs like triclosan (TCL) can increase cytotoxicity and decrease drug resistance in cancer cells. We have determined the structure of hER in the presence and absence of TCL. TCL was not bound in the active site, as predicted, but rather at the protein-protein interface (PPI). TCL binding induces a dimer orientation change that causes downstream structural rearrangement in critical active site residues. Kinetics studies indicate that TCL is capable of inhibiting the isolated hER domain with an IC50 of ∼55 μm. Given the hER-TCL structure and the inhibition observed in the hER domain, it seems likely that TCL is observed in the physiologically relevant binding site and that it acts as an allosteric PPI inhibitor. TCL may be a viable scaffold for the development of anti-cancer PPI FAS inhibitors. PMID:25301948

  15. Protein Crystal Based Nanomaterials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Jeffrey A.; VanRoey, Patrick

    2001-01-01

    This is the final report on a NASA Grant. It concerns a description of work done, which includes: (1) Protein crystals cross-linked to form fibers; (2) Engineering of protein to favor crystallization; (3) Better knowledge-based potentials for protein-protein contacts; (4) Simulation of protein crystallization.

  16. Pressure cryocooling protein crystals

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Chae Un; Gruner, Sol M.

    2011-10-04

    Preparation of cryocooled protein crystal is provided by use of helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal allowing collection of high resolution data and by heavier noble gas (krypton or xenon) binding followed by helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal for collection of high resolution data and SAD phasing simultaneously. The helium pressurizing is carried out on crystal coated to prevent dehydration or on crystal grown in aqueous solution in a capillary.

  17. Crystal structure of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabK) from Streptococcus pneumoniae reveals the binding mode of an inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Saito, Jun; Yamada, Mototsugu; Watanabe, Takashi; Iida, Maiko; Kitagawa, Hideo; Takahata, Sho; Ozawa, Tomohiro; Takeuchi, Yasuo; Ohsawa, Fukuichi

    2008-04-01

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductases are critical for bacterial type II fatty acid biosynthesis and thus are attractive targets for developing novel antibiotics. We determined the crystal structure of enoyl-ACP reductase (FabK) from Streptococcus pneumoniae at 1.7 A resolution. There was one dimer per asymmetric unit. Each subunit formed a triose phosphate isomerase (TIM) barrel structure, and flavin mononucleotide (FMN) was bound as a cofactor in the active site. The overall structure was similar to the enoyl-ACP reductase (ER) of fungal fatty acid synthase and to 2-nitropropane dioxygenase (2-ND) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, although there were some differences among these structures. We determined the crystal structure of FabK in complex with a phenylimidazole derivative inhibitor to envision the binding site interactions. The crystal structure reveals that the inhibitor binds to a hydrophobic pocket in the active site of FabK, and this is accompanied by induced-fit movements of two loop regions. The thiazole ring and part of the ureido moiety of the inhibitor are involved in a face-to-face pi-pi stacking interaction with the isoalloxazine ring of FMN. The side-chain conformation of the proposed catalytic residue, His144, changes upon complex formation. Lineweaver-Burk plots indicate that the inhibitor binds competitively with respect to NADH, and uncompetitively with respect to crotonoyl coenzyme A. We propose that the primary basis of the inhibitory activity is competition with NADH for binding to FabK, which is the first step of the two-step ping-pong catalytic mechanism. PMID:18305197

  18. Protein crystallization with paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Miki; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Sano, Satoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Takano, Kazufumi

    2016-05-01

    We developed a new protein crystallization method that incorporates paper. A small piece of paper, such as facial tissue or KimWipes, was added to a drop of protein solution in the traditional sitting drop vapor diffusion technique, and protein crystals grew by incorporating paper. By this method, we achieved the growth of protein crystals with reducing osmotic shock. Because the technique is very simple and the materials are easy to obtain, this method will come into wide use for protein crystallization. In the future, it could be applied to nanoliter-scale crystallization screening on a paper sheet such as in inkjet printing.

  19. Crystal structure of delta9 stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase from castor seed and its relationship to other di-iron proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Lindqvist, Y; Huang, W; Schneider, G; Shanklin, J

    1996-01-01

    The three-dimensional structure of recombinant homodimeric delta9 stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase, the archetype of the soluble plant fatty acid desaturases that convert saturated to unsaturated fatty acids, has been determined by protein crystallographic methods to a resolution of 2.4 angstroms. The structure was solved by a combination of single isomorphous replacement, anomalous contribution from the iron atoms to the native diffraction data and 6-fold non-crystallographic symmetry averaging. The 363 amino acid monomer consists of a single domain of 11 alpha-helices. Nine of these form an antiparallel helix bundle. The enzyme subunit contains a di-iron centre, with ligands from four of the alpha-helices in the helix bundle. The iron ions are bound in a highly symmetric environment, with one of the irons forming interactions with the side chains of E196 and H232 and the second iron with the side chains of E105 and H146. Two additional glutamic acid side chains, from E143 and E229, are within coordination distance to both iron ions. A water molecule is found within the second coordination sphere from the iron atoms. The lack of electron density corresponding to a mu-oxo bridge, and the long (4.2 angstroms) distance between the iron ions suggests that this probably represents the diferrous form of the enzyme. A deep channel which probably binds the fatty acid extends from the surface into the interior of the enzyme. Modelling of the substrate, stearic acid, into this channel places the delta9 carbon atom in the vicinity of one of the iron ions. Images PMID:8861937

  20. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth on STS-26

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Mission Specialist George (Pinky) D. Nelson uses a 35 mm camera to photograph a protein crystal grown during the STS-26 Protein Crystal Growth (PCG-II-01) experiment. The protein crystal growth (PCG) carrier is shown deployed from the PCG Refrigerator/Incubator Mocule (R/IM) located in the middeck forward locker. The R/IM contained three Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDS) trays (one of which is shown). A total of sixty protein crystal samples were processed during the STS-26 mission.

  1. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    Proteins account for 50% or more of the dry weight of most living systems and play a crucial role in virtually all biological processes. Since the specific functions of essentially all biological molecules are determined by their three-dimensional structures, it is obvious that a detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. At the present time, protein crystallography has no substitute, it is the only technique available for elucidating the atomic arrangements within complicated biological molecules. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting and promising projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. There is a pressing need to better understand protein crystal growth, and to develop new techniques that can be used to enhance the size and quality of protein crystals. There are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor that might be expected to alter crystal growth processes in space is the elimination of density-driven convective flow. Another factor that can be readily controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystal in a gravitational field. Another potential advantage of microgravity for protein crystal growth is the option of doing containerless crystal growth. One can readily understand why the microgravity environment established by Earth-orbiting vehicles is perceived to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. The near term objectives of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  2. Biomolecular membrane protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy Bolla, Jani; Su, Chih-Chia; Yu, Edward W.

    2012-07-01

    Integral membrane proteins comprise approximately 30% of the sequenced genomes, and there is an immediate need for their high-resolution structural information. Currently, the most reliable approach to obtain these structures is X-ray crystallography. However, obtaining crystals of membrane proteins that diffract to high resolution appears to be quite challenging, and remains a major obstacle in structural determination. This brief review summarizes a variety of methodologies for use in crystallizing these membrane proteins. Hopefully, by introducing the available methods, techniques, and providing a general understanding of membrane proteins, a rational decision can be made about now to crystallize these complex materials.

  3. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy uses laser technology to reveal a defect, a double-screw dislocation, on the surface of this crystal of canavalin, a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. When a crystal grows, attachment kinetics and transport kinetics are competing for control of the molecules. As a molecule gets close to the crystal surface, it has to attach properly for the crystal to be usable. NASA has funded investigators to look at those attachment kinetics from a theoretical standpoint and an experimental standpoint. Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine, is one of those investigators. He uses X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy in his laboratory to answer some of the many questions about how protein crystals grow. Atomic force microscopy provides a means of looking at how individual molecules are added to the surface of growing protein crystals. This helps McPherson understand the kinetics of protein crystal growth. McPherson asks, How fast do crystals grow? What are the forces involved? Investigators funded by NASA have clearly shown that such factors as the level of supersaturation and the rate of growth all affect the habit [characteristic arrangement of facets] of the crystal and the defects that occur in the crystal.

  4. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell, Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC) uses a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for macromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of macromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystallized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  5. Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    In order to rapidly and efficiently grow crystals, tools were needed to automatically identify and analyze the growing process of protein crystals. To meet this need, Diversified Scientific, Inc. (DSI), with the support of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center, developed CrystalScore(trademark), the first automated image acquisition, analysis, and archiving system designed specifically for the macromolecular crystal growing community. It offers automated hardware control, image and data archiving, image processing, a searchable database, and surface plotting of experimental data. CrystalScore is currently being used by numerous pharmaceutical companies and academic and nonprofit research centers. DSI, located in Birmingham, Alabama, was awarded the patent Method for acquiring, storing, and analyzing crystal images on March 4, 2003. Another DSI product made possible by Marshall SBIR funding is VaporPro(trademark), a unique, comprehensive system that allows for the automated control of vapor diffusion for crystallization experiments.

  6. Using Inorganic Crystals To Grow Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlichta, Paul J.; Mcpherson, Alexander A.

    1989-01-01

    Solid materials serve as nucleating agents. Protein crystals induced by heterogeneous nucleation and in some cases by epitaxy to grow at lower supersaturations than needed for spontaneous nucleation. Heterogeneous nucleation makes possible to grow large, defect-free single crystals of protein more readily. Such protein crystals benefits research in biochemistry and pharmacology.

  7. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell (standing), Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC),and Marc Pusey of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) use a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for marcromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of marcromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystalized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  8. Protein Crystal Malic Enzyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Malic Enzyme is a target protein for drug design because it is a key protein in the life cycle of intestinal parasites. After 2 years of effort on Earth, investigators were unable to produce any crystals that were of high enough quality and for this reason the structure of this important protein could not be determined. Crystals obtained from one STS-50 were of superior quality allowing the structure to be determined. This is just one example why access to space is so vital for these studies. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  9. Microgravity Crystallization of Alpha-Crustacyanin Onboard the Unmanned Carrier, EURECA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boggon, T. J.; Snell, E. H.; Helliwell, J. R.; Chayen, N. E.; Zagalsky, P. F.

    1998-01-01

    alpha-Crustacyanin, the lobster carapace astaxanthin-protein, was crystallized using the European Space Agency's (ESA) automated Protein Crystallization Facility (PCF) which flew onboard the unmanned EUropean REtrievable CArrier (EURECA). A free interface linear, liquid - liquid diffusion, method was used. Crystals grew larger and thicker in the microgravity case compared to the biggest crystals grown on earth. Video observation on EURECA revealed variations in crystal sizes through-out the reactor neatly correlated with depletion of this coloured protein from the solution. The video observations most importantly revealed no visible movement of crystals over the initial 7 weeks of the experiment, although an obvious temperature induced jump occurred at that time in a mission spanning 11 months. An important observation from this mission, over the first 7 weeks, of completely stationary crystal growth contrasts with crystal motions viewed on manned microgravity missions, even using linear liquid - liquid geometries, and much shorter flights (eg. 12 to 16 days).

  10. Protein Crystal Bovine Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Bovine Insulin space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). Facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  11. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Smith, Craig D.; Smith, H. Wilson; Vijay-Kumar, Senadhi; Senadhi, Shobha E.; Ealick, Steven E.; Carter, Daniel C.; Snyder, Robert S.

    1989-01-01

    The crystals of most proteins or other biological macromolecules are poorly ordered and diffract to lower resolutions than those observed for most crystals of simple organic and inorganic compounds. Crystallization in the microgravity environment of space may improve crystal quality by eliminating convection effects near growing crystal surfaces. A series of 11 different protein crystal growth experiments was performed on U.S. Space Shuttle flight STS-26 in September 1988. The microgravity-grown crystals of gamma-interferon D1, porcine elastase, and isocitrate lyase are larger, display more uniform morphologies, and yield diffraction data to significantly higher resolutions than the best crystals of these proteins grown on earth.

  12. Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This section of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) publication contains articles entitled: (1) Crystallization of EGFR-EGF; (2) Crystallization of Apocrustacyanin C1; (3) Crystallization and X-ray Analysis of 5S rRNA and the 5S rRNA Domain A; (4) Growth of Lysozyme Crystals at Low Nucleation Density; (5) Comparative Analysis of Aspartyl tRNA-synthetase and Thaumatin Crystals Grown on Earth and In Microgravity; (6) Lysosome Crystal Growth in the Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility Monitored via Mach-Zehnder Interferometry and CCD Video; (7) Analysis of Thaumatin Crystals Grown on Earth and in Microgravity; (8) Crystallization of the Nucleosome Core Particle; (9) Crystallization of Photosystem I; (10) Mechanism of Membrane Protein Crystal Growth: Bacteriorhodopsin-mixed Micelle Packing at the Consolution Boundary, Stabilized in Microgravity; (11) Crystallization in a Microgravity Environment of CcdB, a Protein Involved in the Control of Cell Death; and (12) Crystallization of Sulfolobus Solfataricus

  13. Introduction to protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid–liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies. PMID:24419610

  14. Introduction to protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid-liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies. PMID:24419610

  15. Characterizing protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akella, Sathish V.

    We developed an experimental microfluidic based technique to measure the nucleation rates and successfully applied the technique to measure nucleation rates of lysozyme crystals. The technique involves counting the number of samples which do not have crystals as a function of time. Under the assumption that nucleation is a Poisson process, the fraction of samples with no crystals decays exponentially with the decay constant proportional to nucleation rate and volume of the sample. Since nucleation is a random and rare event, one needs to perform measurements on large number of samples to obtain good statistics. Microfluidics offers the solution of producing large number of samples at minimal material consumption. Hence, we developed a microfluidic method and measured nucleation rates of lysozyme crystals in supersaturated protein drops, each with volume of ˜ 1 nL. Classical Nucleation Theory (CNT) describes the kinetics of nucleation and predicts the functional form of nucleation rate in terms of the thermodynamic quantities involved, such as supersaturation, temperature, etc. We analyzed the measured nucleation rates in the context of CNT and obtained the activation energy and the kinetic pre-factor characterizing the nucleation process. One conclusion is that heterogeneous nucleation dominates crystallization. We report preliminary studies on selective enhancement of nucleation in one of the crystal polymorprhs of lysozyme (spherulite) using amorphous mesoporous bioactive gel-glass te{naomi06, naomi08}, CaO.P 2O5.SiO2 (known as bio-glass) with 2-10 nm pore-size diameter distribution. The pores act as heterogeneous nucleation centers and claimed to enhance the nucleation rates by molecular confinement. The measured kinetic profiles of crystal fraction of spherulites indicate that the crystallization of spherulites may be proceeding via secondary nucleation pathways.

  16. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.; Clifford, D. W.

    1987-01-01

    The advantages of protein crystallization in space, and the applications of protein crystallography to drug design, protein engineering, and the design of synthetic vaccines are examined. The steps involved in using protein crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein are discussed. The growth chamber design and the hand-held apparatus developed for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques (hanging-drop method) are described; the experimental data from the four Shuttle missions are utilized to develop hardware for protein crystal growth in space and to evaluate the effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  17. Bacterial Ice Crystal Controlling Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lorv, Janet S. H.; Rose, David R.; Glick, Bernard R.

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions. PMID:24579057

  18. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenblum, William M.; Delucas, Lawrence J.; Wilson, William W.

    1989-01-01

    Major advances have been made in several of the experimental aspects of protein crystallography, leaving protein crystallization as one of the few remaining bottlenecks. As a result, it has become important that the science of protein crystal growth is better understood and that improved methods for protein crystallization are developed. Preliminary experiments with both small molecules and proteins indicate that microgravity may beneficially affect crystal growth. For this reason, a series of protein crystal growth experiments using the Space Shuttle was initiated. The preliminary space experiments were used to evolve prototype hardware that will form the basis for a more advanced system that can be used to evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth. Various optical techniques are being utilized to monitor the crystal growth process from the incipient or nucleation stage and throughout the growth phase. The eventual goal of these studies is to develop a system which utilizes optical monitoring for dynamic control of the crystallization process.

  19. Path to protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Growth of two-dimensional S-layer crystals on supported lipid bilayers observed in solution using in situ atomic force microscopy. This movie shows proteins sticking onto the supported lipid bilayer, forming a mobile phase that condenses into amorphous clusters, and undergoing a phase transition to crystalline clusters composed of 2 to 15 tetramers. These initial clusters then enter a growth phase in which new tetramers form exclusively at unoccupied lattice sites along the cluster edges.

  20. Protein Crystal Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Isocitrate Lyase earth-grown (left) and space-grown (right). This is a target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast; it regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  1. Protein Crystals of Raf Kinase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    This image shows crystals of the protein raf kinase grown on Earth (photo a) and on USML-2 (photo b). The space-grown crystals are an order of magnitude larger. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals

  2. Protein Crystals Grown in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A collage of protein and virus crystals, many of which were grown on the U.S. Space Shuttle or Russian Space Station, Mir. The crystals include the proteins canavalin; mouse monoclonal antibody; a sweet protein, thaumatin; and a fungal protease. Viruses are represented here by crystals of turnip yellow mosaic virus and satellite tobacco mosaic virus. The crystals are photographed under polarized light (thus causing the colors) and range in size from a few hundred microns in edge length up to more than a millimeter. All the crystals are grown from aqueous solutions and are useful for X-ray diffraction analysis. Credit: Dr. Alex McPherson, University of California, Irvine.

  3. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Bugg, Charles E.

    1991-01-01

    Studies of protein crystal growth in the microgravity environment in space are described with special attention given to the crystal growth facilities and the techniques used in Space Shuttle experiments. The properties of large space-grown crystals of gamma interferon, elastase, lathyros ochrus lectin I, and few other proteins grown on various STS flights are described. A comparison of the microgravity-grown crystals with the bast earth-grown crystals demonstrated that the space-grown crystals are more highly ordered at the molecular level than their earth-grown counterparts. When crystallization conditions were optimized, the microgravity-grown protein crystals were larger, displayed more uniform morphologies, and yielded diffraction data to significantly higher resolution than their earth-grown counterparts.

  4. Protein Crystals and their Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.

    2004-01-01

    Recent results on binding between protein molecules in crystal lattice, crystal-solution surface energy, elastic properties and strength and spontaneous crystal cracking are reviewed and discussed in the first half of this paper (Sea 2-4). In the second par&, some basic approaches to solubility of proteins are followed by overview on crystal nucleation and growth (Sec 5). It is argued that variability of mixing in batch crystallization may be a source for scattering of crystal number ultimately appearing in the batch. Frequency at which new molecules join crystal lattice is measured by kinetic coefficient and related to the observable crystal growth rate. Numerical criteria to discriminate diffusion and kinetic limited growth are discussed on this basis in Sec 7. In Sec 8, creation of defects is discussed with the emphasis on the role of impurities and convection on macromolecular crystal I;erfection.

  5. Protein crystals and their growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alexander A.

    2003-01-01

    Recent results on the associations between protein molecules in crystal lattices, crystal-solution surface energy, elastic properties, strength, and spontaneous crystal cracking are reviewed and discussed. In addition, some basic approaches to understanding the solubility of proteins are followed by an overview of crystal nucleation and growth. It is argued that variability of mixing in batch crystallization may be a source of the variation in the number of crystals ultimately appearing in the sample. The frequency at which new molecules join a crystal lattice is measured by the kinetic coefficient and is related to the observed crystal growth rate. Numerical criteria used to discriminate diffusion- and kinetic-limited growth are discussed on this basis. Finally, the creation of defects is discussed with an emphasis on the role of impurities and convection on macromolecular crystal perfection.

  6. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin. The major storage protein of leguminous plants and a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. It is studied in efforts to enhance nutritional value of proteins through protein engineerings. It is isolated from Jack Bean because of it's potential as a nutritional substance. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Alex McPherson.

  7. Carrier doping and interlayer coupling in HTSC single crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Kishio, K.; Shimoyama, J.; Kimura, T.; Kotaka, Y.; Kitazawa, K.; Yamafuji, K.; Li, Q.; Suenaga, M.

    1994-09-01

    Experimental results of the effect of carrier doping on the irreversibility lines in (La,Sr){sub 2}CuO{sub 4{minus}{delta}} and Bi{sub 2}Sr{sub 2}CaCu{sub 2}O{sub 8 + {delta}} single crystals are summarized. As a function of Sr or oxygen contents, systematic and dramatic widening of the irreversible regions in the B {minus} T phase diagram was observed in both systems. The present study suggests the critical importance of carrier concentration which directly affects the interlayer coupling strength and dimensionality of the flux line lattice in all the layered HTSC compounds as a universal feature.

  8. Protein crystal growth tray assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Miller, Teresa Y. (Inventor)

    1992-01-01

    A protein crystal growth tray assembly includes a tray that has a plurality of individual crystal growth chambers. Each chamber has a movable pedestal which carries a protein crystal growth compartment at an upper end. The several pedestals for each tray assembly are ganged together for concurrent movement so that the solutions in the various pedestal growth compartments can be separated from the solutions in the tray's growth chambers until the experiment is to be activated.

  9. Trapping of the Enoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase–Acyl Carrier Protein Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Tallorin, Lorillee; Finzel, Kara; Nguyen, Quynh G.; Beld, Joris; La Clair, James J.; Burkart, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    An ideal target for metabolic engineering, fatty acid biosynthesis remains poorly understood on a molecular level. These carrier protein-dependent pathways require fundamental protein–protein interactions to guide reactivity and processivity, and their control has become one of the major hurdles in successfully adapting these biological machines. Our laboratory has developed methods to prepare acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) loaded with substrate mimetics and cross-linkers to visualize and trap interactions with partner enzymes, and we continue to expand the tools for studying these pathways. We now describe application of the slow-onset, tight-binding inhibitor triclosan to explore the interactions between the type II fatty acid ACP from Escherichia coli, AcpP, and its corresponding enoyl-ACP reductase, FabI. We show that the AcpP–triclosan complex demonstrates nM binding, inhibits in vitro activity, and can be used to isolate FabI in complex proteomes. PMID:26938266

  10. Lasing from fluorescent protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Oh, Heon Jeong; Gather, Malte C; Song, Ji-Joon; Yun, Seok Hyun

    2014-12-15

    We investigated fluorescent protein crystals for potential photonic applications, for the first time to our knowledge. Rod-shaped crystals of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were synthesized, with diameters of 0.5-2 μm and lengths of 100-200 μm. The crystals exhibit minimal light scattering due to their ordered structure and generate substantially higher fluorescence intensity than EGFP or dye molecules in solutions. The magnitude of concentration quenching in EGFP crystals was measured to be about 7-10 dB. Upon optical pumping at 485 nm, individual EGFP crystals located between dichroic mirrors generated laser emission with a single-mode spectral line at 513 nm. Our results demonstrate the potential of protein crystals as novel optical elements for self-assembled, micro- or nano-lasers and amplifiers in aqueous environment. PMID:25607090

  11. High density protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouleau, Robyn (Inventor); Delucas, Lawrence (Inventor); Hedden, Douglas Keith (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A protein crystal growth assembly including a crystal growth cell and further including a cell body having a top side and a bottom side and a first aperture defined therethrough, the cell body having opposing first and second sides and a second aperture defined therethrough. A cell barrel is disposed within the cell body, the cell barrel defining a cavity alignable with the first aperture of the cell body, the cell barrel being rotatable within the second aperture. A reservoir is coupled to the bottom side of the cell body and a cap having a top side is disposed on the top side of the cell body. The protein crystal growth assembly may be employed in methods including vapor diffusion crystallization, liquid to liquid crystallization, batch crystallization, and temperature induction batch mode crystallization.

  12. Containerless protein crystal growth method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhim, Won-Kyu; Chung, Sang K.

    1991-01-01

    A method of growing protein crystals from levitated drops is introduced and unique features of containerless approach in 1-g and micro-G laboratories are discussed. Electrostatic multidrop levitation system which is capable of simultaneous four drop levitation is described. A method of controlling protein saturation level in a programmed way is introduced and discussed. Finally, some of the unique features of containerless approach of protein crystal growth in space are discussed and summarized.

  13. Scientist prepare Lysozyme Protein Crystal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Dan Carter and Charles Sisk center a Lysozyme Protein crystal grown aboard the USML-2 shuttle mission. Protein isolated from hen egg-white and functions as a bacteriostatic enzyme by degrading bacterial cell walls. First enzyme ever characterized by protein crystallography. It is used as an excellent model system for better understanding parameters involved in microgravity crystal growth experiments. The goal is to compare kinetic data from microgravity experiments with data from laboratory experiments to study the equilibrium.

  14. Crystal structure and substrate specificity of the [beta]-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein synthase III (FabH) from Staphylococcus aureus

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu, Xiayang; Choudhry, Anthony E.; Janson, Cheryl A.; Grooms, Michael; Daines, Robert A.; Lonsdale, John T.; Khandekar, Sanjay S.

    2010-07-20

    {beta}-Ketoacyl-ACP synthase III (FabH), an essential enzyme for bacterial viability, catalyzes the initiation of fatty acid elongation by condensing malonyl-ACP with acetyl-CoA. We have determined the crystal structure of FabH from Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive human pathogen, to 2 {angstrom} resolution. Although the overall structure of S. aureus FabH is similar to that of Escherichia coli FabH, the primer binding pocket in S. aureus FabH is significantly larger than that present in E. coli FabH. The structural differences, which agree with kinetic parameters, provide explanation for the observed varying substrate specificity for E. coli and S. aureus FabH. The rank order of activity of S. aureus FabH with various acyl-CoA primers was as follows: isobutyryl- > hexanoyl- > butyryl- > isovaleryl- >> acetyl-CoA. The availability of crystal structure may aid in designing potent, selective inhibitors of S. aureus FabH.

  15. Surface Relaxation in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boutet, S.; Robinson, I. K.; Hu, Z. W.; Thomas, B. R.; Chernov, A. A.

    2002-01-01

    Surface X-ray diffraction measurements were performed on (111) growth faces of crystals of the Cellular iron-storage protein horse spleen ferritin. Crystal Trunkation Rods (CTR) were measured. A fit of the measured profile of the CTR revealed a surface roughness of 48 +/- 4.5 A and a top layer spacing contraction of 3.9 +/- 1.5%. In addition to the peak from the CTR, the rocking curves of the crystals displayed unexpected extra peaks. Multiple-scattering is demonstrated to account for them. Future applications of the method could allow the exploration of hydration effects on the growth of protein crystals.

  16. Relatedness of acyl carrier proteins shown by amino acid compositions.

    PubMed

    Walker, T A; Ernst-Fonberg, M L

    1982-01-01

    1. Relatedness among the following carrier proteins was assessed on the basis of amino acid compositions: eight acyl carrier proteins (ACP's) associated with fatty acid synthesis, ACP's associated with citrate lyase and citramalate lyase, a biotin carboxyl carrier protein and cytochrome 552. Two independent indices of amino acid composition were used. 2. The fatty acid synthesis-associated ACP's of many organisms and the lyase-associated ACP's show a high degree of relatedness among one another. 3. The ACP's show no relatedness to biotin carboxyl carrier protein or cytochrome 552. PMID:7128903

  17. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel

    1992-01-01

    The overall scientific goals and rationale for growing protein crystals in microgravity are discussed. Data on the growth of human serum albumin crystals which were produced during the First International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1) are presented. Potential scientific advantages of the utilization of Space Station Freedom are discussed.

  18. Characterization of the "Escherichia Coli" Acyl Carrier Protein Phosphodiesterase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    Acyl carrier protein (ACP) is a small essential protein that functions as a carrier of the acyl intermediates of fatty acid synthesis. ACP requires the posttranslational attachment of a 4'phosphopantetheine functional group, derived from CoA, in order to perform its metabolic function. A Mn[superscript 2+] dependent enzymatic activity that removes…

  19. Nucleation precursors in protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Vekilov, Peter G.; Vorontsova, Maria A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystal nucleation is a central problem in biological crystallography and other areas of science, technology and medicine. Recent studies have demonstrated that protein crystal nuclei form within crucial precursors. Here, methods of detection and characterization of the precursors are reviewed: dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy and Brownian microscopy. Data for several proteins provided by these methods have demonstrated that the nucleation precursors are clusters consisting of protein-dense liquid, which are metastable with respect to the host protein solution. The clusters are several hundred nanometres in size, the cluster population occupies from 10−7 to 10−3 of the solution volume, and their properties in solutions supersaturated with respect to crystals are similar to those in homogeneous, i.e. undersaturated, solutions. The clusters exist owing to the conformation flexibility of the protein molecules, leading to exposure of hydrophobic surfaces and enhanced intermolecular binding. These results indicate that protein conformational flexibility might be the mechanism behind the metastable mesoscopic clusters and crystal nucleation. Investigations of the cluster properties are still in their infancy. Results on direct imaging of cluster behaviors and characterization of cluster mechanisms with a variety of proteins will soon lead to major breakthroughs in protein biophysics. PMID:24598910

  20. Charge carrier rearrangement in spinel crystals irradiated at low temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gritsyna, V. T.; Afanasyev-Charkin, I. V.; Kobyakov, V. A.; Voitsenya, T. I.; Sickafus, K. E.

    2000-05-01

    The results of an investigation of thermoluminescence (TL) in nominally pure MgAl2O4 spinel single crystals in the temperature range between 80-670 K are presented. For a heating rate of 0.21 K/s, TL spectra exhibit glow peaks in three distinct temperature ranges: 100-160, 270-370 and 470-670 K. The most prominent peaks are at 115, 140, 305, 335, 525, 570 and 605 K. The locations of the temperature maxima, as well as the intensity of the peaks, vary depending on the treatment of the crystals, the type of irradiation and the temperature of irradiation. Measurements of the glow peaks at different emission wavelengths and the use of partial bleaching and isothermal decay techniques for TL, allowed us to propose mechanisms for charge carrier rearrangement at lattice defects and impurity ions, during irradiation and subsequent heating.

  1. Carrier mobility and crystal perfection of tetracene thin film FET

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriguchi, N.; Nishikawa, T.; Anezaki, T.; Unno, A.; Tachibana, M.; Kojima, K.

    2006-04-01

    It is well-known that the carrier mobility of an organic field effect semiconductor (FET) depended on the crystal quality and/or the crystal perfection of the organic thin films [T.W. Kelly, D.V. Muyres, P.F. Baude, T.P. Smith, T.D. Jones, Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 771 (2003) L6.5.1; D.J. Gundlach, J.A. Nichols, L. Zhou, T.N. Jackson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 80 (2002) 2925; H.K. Lauk, M. Halik, U. Zschieschang, G. Schmid, W. Radlik, J. Appl. Phys. 92 (2002) 5259; M. Shtein, J. Mapel, J.B. Benziger, S.R. Forrest, Appl. Phys. Lett. 81 (2002) 268; D. Knipp, R.A. Street, A.R. Volkel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 82 (2003) 3907; R. Ruiz, A.C. Mayer, G.G. Malliaras, Appl. Phys. Lett. 85 (2004) 4926; R.W.I. de Boer, M.E. Gershenson, A.F. Morpurgo, V. Podzorov, Phys. Stat. Sol. A 201 (2004) 1031]. To improve the crystal quality of the thin film many efforts were made. One of the important improvements was the surface treatment of the substrate. The tetracene thin film FET (top contact structure) was fabricated using the substrate, which was coated by a spin-coating method with a 0.1% poly α-methylstyrene (AMS) solution. The crystal quality was improved by this treatment so that the carrier mobility was higher than that of non-treatment. The maximum mobility of the AMS-treated sample was obtained to be 0.12 cm 2/V s.

  2. Protein Crystal Recombinant Human Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Recombiant Human Insulin; space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). On STS-60, Spacehab II indicated that space-grown crystals are larger and of greater optical clarity than their earth-grown counterparts. Recombiant Human Insulin facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  3. Commercial Protein Crystal Growth: Protein Crystallization Facility (CPCG-H)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2002-12-01

    Within the human body, there are thousands of different proteins that serve a variety of different functions, such as making it possible for red blood cells to carry oxygen in our bodies. Yet proteins can also be involved in diseases. Each protein has a particular chemical structure, which means it has a unique shape. It is this three-dimensional shape that allows each protein to do its job by interacting with chemicals or binding with other proteins. If researchers can determine the shape, or shapes, of a protein, they can learn how it works. This information can then be used by the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs or improve the way medications work. The NASA Commercial Space Center sponsoring this experiment - the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham - has more than 60 industry and academic partners who grow protein crystals and use the information in drug design projects.

  4. Direct Acylation of Carrier Proteins with Functionalized β-Lactones

    PubMed Central

    Amoroso, Jon W.; Borketey, Lawrence S.; Prasad, Gitanjeli

    2014-01-01

    As the key component of many biosynthetic assemblies, acyl-carrier proteins offer a robust entry point for introduction of small molecule probes and pathway intermediates. Current labeling strategies primarily rely on modifications to the phosphopantetheine cofactor or its biosynthetic precursors followed by attachment to the apo form of a given carrier protein. As a greatly simplified alternative, direct and selective acylation of holo-acyl-carrier proteins using readily accessible β-lactones as electrophilic partners for the phosphopantetheine-thiol has been demonstrated. PMID:20433156

  5. Preclinical studies on new proteins as carrier for glycoconjugate vaccines.

    PubMed

    Tontini, M; Romano, M R; Proietti, D; Balducci, E; Micoli, F; Balocchi, C; Santini, L; Masignani, V; Berti, F; Costantino, P

    2016-07-29

    Glycoconjugate vaccines are made of carbohydrate antigens covalently bound to a carrier protein to enhance their immunogenicity. Among the different carrier proteins tested in preclinical and clinical studies, five have been used so far for licensed vaccines: Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoids, the non-toxic mutant of diphtheria toxin CRM197, the outer membrane protein complex of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B and the Protein D derived from non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae. Availability of novel carriers might help to overcome immune interference in multi-valent vaccines containing several polysaccharide-conjugate antigens, and also to develop vaccines which target both protein as well saccharide epitopes of the same pathogen. Accordingly we have conducted a study to identify new potential carrier proteins. Twenty-eight proteins, derived from different bacteria, were conjugated to the model polysaccharide Laminarin and tested in mice for their ability in inducing antibodies against the carbohydrate antigen and eight of them were subsequently tested as carrier for serogroup meningococcal C oligosaccharides. Four out of these eight were able to elicit in mice satisfactory anti meningococcal serogroup C titers. Based on immunological evaluation, the Streptococcus pneumoniae protein spr96/2021 was successfully evaluated as carrier for serogroups A, C, W, Y and X meningococcal capsular saccharides. PMID:27317455

  6. Protein Crystal Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    As the most abundant protein in the circulatory system albumin contributes 80% to colloid osmotic blood pressure. Albumin is also chiefly responsible for the maintenance of blood pH. It is located in every tissue and bodily secretion, with extracellular protein comprising 60% of total albumin. Perhaps the most outstanding property of albumin is its ability to bind reversibly to an incredible variety of ligands. It is widely accepted in the pharmaceutical industry that the overall distribution, metabolism, and efficiency of many drugs are rendered ineffective because of their unusually high affinity for this abundant protein. An understanding of the chemistry of the various classes of pharmaceutical interactions with albumin can suggest new approaches to drug therapy and design. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter/New Century Pharmaceuticals

  7. Protein crystallization studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyne, James Evans

    1996-01-01

    The Structural Biology laboratory at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center uses x-ray crystallographic techniques to conduct research into the three-dimensional structure of a wide variety of proteins. A major effort in the laboratory involves an ongoing study of human serum albumin (the principal protein in human plasma) and its interaction with various endogenous substances and pharmaceutical agents. Another focus is on antigenic and functional proteins from several pathogenic organisms including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the widespread parasitic genus, Schistosoma. My efforts this summer have been twofold: first, to identify clinically significant drug interactions involving albumin binding displacement and to initiate studies of the three-dimensional structure of albumin complexed with these agents, and secondly, to establish collaborative efforts to extend the lab's work on human pathogens.

  8. Automated protein crystal growth facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donald, Stacey

    1994-01-01

    A customer for the protein crystal growth facility fills the specially designed chamber with the correct solutions, fills the syringes with their quenching solutions, and submits the data needed for the proper growth of their crystal. To make sure that the chambers and syringes are filled correctly, a NASA representative may assist the customer. The data needed is the approximate growth time, the growth temperature, and the desired crystal size, but this data can be changed anytime from the ground, if needed. The chambers are gathered and placed into numbered slots in special drawers. Then, data is entered into a computer for each of the chambers. Technicians map out when each chamber's growth should be activated so that all of the chambers have enough time to grow. All of this data is up-linked to the space station when the previous growth session is over. Anti-vibrational containers need to be constructed for the high forces encountered during the lift off and the landing of the space shuttle, and though our team has not designed these containers, we do not feel that there is any reason why a suitable one could not be made. When the shuttle reaches the space station, an astronaut removes a drawer of quenched chambers from the growth facility and inserts a drawer of new chambers. All twelve of the drawers can be replaced in this fashion. The optical disks can also be removed this way. The old drawers are stored for the trip back to earth. Once inside the growth facility, a chamber is removed by the robot and placed in one of 144 active sites at a time previously picked by a technician. Growth begins when the chamber is inserted into an active site. Then, the sensing system starts to determine the size of the protein crystal. All during the crystal's growth, the customer can view the crystal and read all of the crystal's data, such as growth rate and crystal size. When the sensing system determines that the crystal has reached the predetermined size, the robot is

  9. Sterol Carrier Protein-2: Binding Protein for Endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Liedhegner, Elizabeth Sabens; Vogt, Caleb D.; Sem, Daniel S.; Cunningham, Christopher W.

    2015-01-01

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system, consisting of eCB ligands and the type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R), subserves retrograde, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the brain. eCB signaling occurs “on-demand,” thus the processes regulating synthesis, mobilization and degradation of eCBs are also primary mechanisms for the regulation of CB1R activity. The eCBs, N-arachidonylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are poorly soluble in water. We hypothesize that their aqueous solubility, and, therefore, their intracellular and transcellular distribution, are facilitated by protein binding. Using in silico docking studies, we have identified the nonspecific lipid binding protein, sterol carrier protein 2 (SCP-2), as a potential AEA binding protein. The docking studies predict that AEA and AM404 associate with SCP-2 at a putative cholesterol binding pocket with ΔG values of −3.6 and −4.6 kcal/mol, respectively. These values are considerably higher than cholesterol (−6.62 kcal/mol) but consistent with a favorable binding interaction. In support of the docking studies, SCP-2-mediated transfer of cholesterol in vitro is inhibited by micromolar concentrations of AEA; and heterologous expression of SCP-2 in HEK 293 cells increases time-related accumulation of AEA in a temperature-dependent fashion. These results suggest that SCP-2 facilitates cellular uptake of AEA. However, there is no effect of SCP-2 transfection on the cellular accumulation of AEA determined at equilibrium or the IC50 values for AEA, AM404 or 2-AG to inhibit steady state accumulation of radiolabelled AEA. We conclude that SCP-2 is a low affinity binding protein for AEA that can facilitate its cellular uptake but does not contribute significantly to intracellular sequestration of AEA. PMID:24510313

  10. Process for Encapsulating Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, Dennis R.; Mosier, Benjamin

    2003-01-01

    A process for growing protein crystals encapsulated within membranes has been invented. This process begins with the encapsulation of a nearly saturated aqueous protein solution inside semipermeable membranes to form microcapsules. The encapsulation is effected by use of special formulations of a dissolved protein and a surfactant in an aqueous first liquid phase, which is placed into contact with a second, immiscible liquid phase that contains one or more polymers that are insoluble in the first phase. The second phase becomes formed into the semipermeable membranes that surround microglobules of the first phase, thereby forming the microcapsules. Once formed, the microcapsules are then dehydrated osmotically by exposure to a concentrated salt or polymer solution. The dehydration forms supersaturated solutions inside the microcapsules, thereby enabling nucleation and growth of protein crystals inside the microcapsules. By suitable formulation of the polymer or salt solution and of other physical and chemical parameters, one can control the rate of transport of water out of the microcapsules through the membranes and thereby create physicochemical conditions that favor the growth, within each microcapsule, of one or a few large crystals suitable for analysis by x-ray diffraction. The membrane polymer can be formulated to consist of low-molecular-weight molecules that do not interfere with the x-ray diffraction analysis of the encapsulated crystals. During dehydration, an electrostatic field can be applied to exert additional control over the rate of dehydration. This protein-crystal-encapsulation process is expected to constitute the basis of protein-growth experiments to be performed on the space shuttle and the International Space Station. As envisioned, the experiments would involve the exposure of immiscible liquids to each other in sequences of steps under microgravitational conditions. The experiments are expected to contribute to knowledge of the precise

  11. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Deller, Marc C. Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-28

    Approaches to automated and robot-assisted harvesting of protein crystals are critically reviewed. While no true turn-key solutions for automation of protein crystal harvesting are currently available, systems incorporating advanced robotics and micro-electromechanical systems represent exciting developments with the potential to revolutionize the way in which protein crystals are harvested.

  12. Studying how protein crystals form

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Watching molecules of the iron-storing protein apoferritin come together to form a nucleus reveals some interesting behavior. In this series of images, researchers observed clusters of four molecules at the corners of a diamond shape (top). As more molecules attach to the cluster, they arrange themselves into rods (second from top), and a raft-like configuration of molecules forms the critical nucleus (third from top), suggesting that crystal growth is much slower than it could be were the molecules arranged in a more compact formation. In the final image, a crystallite consisting of three layers containing approximately 60 to 70 molecules each is formed. Atomic force microscopy made visualizing the process of nucleation possible for the first time. The principal investigator is Peter Vekilov, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Vekilov's team at UAH studies protein solutions as they change phases from liquids to crystalline solids. They want to know if the molecules in the solution interact with one another, and if so, how, from the perspectives of thermodynamics and kinetics. They want to understand which forces -- electrical, electrostatic, hydrodynamic, or other kinds of forces -- are responsible for the interactions. They also study nucleation, the begirning stage of crystallization. This process is important to understand because it sets the stage for crystal growth in all kinds of solutions and liquid melts that are important in such diverse fields as agriculture, medicine, and the fabrication of metal components. Nucleation can determine the rate of crystal growth, the number of crystals that will be formed, and the quality and size of the crystals.

  13. Protein crystal growth in a microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1988-01-01

    Protein crystal growth is a major experimental problem and is the bottleneck in widespread applications of protein crystallography. Research efforts now being pursued and sponsored by NASA are making fundamental contributions to the understanding of the science of protein crystal growth. Microgravity environments offer the possibility of performing new types of experiments that may produce a better understanding of protein crystal growth processes and may permit growth environments that are more favorable for obtaining high quality protein crystals. A series of protein crystal growth experiments using the space shuttle was initiated. The first phase of these experiments was focused on the development of micro-methods for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques, using a space version of the hanging drop method. The preliminary space experiments were used to evolve prototype hardware that will form the basis for a more advanced system that can be used to evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  14. Can Solution Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    The formation of large protein crystals of "high quality" is considered a characteristic manifestation of microgravity. The physical processes that predict the formation of large, high quality protein crystals in the microgravity environment of space are considered rooted in the existence of a "depletion zone" in the vicinity of crystal. Namely, it is considered reasonable that crystal quality suffers in earth-grown crystals as a result of the incorporation of large aggregates, micro-crystals and/or large molecular weight "impurities", processes which are aided by density driven convective flow or mixing at the crystal-liquid interface. Sedimentation and density driven convection produce unfavorable solution conditions in the vicinity of the crystal surface, which promotes rapid crystal growth to the detriment of crystal size and quality. In this effort, we shall further present the hypothesis that the solution supersaturatoin at the crystal surface determines the growth mechanism, or mode, by which protein crystals grow. It is further hypothesized that protein crystal quality is affected by the mechanism or mode of crystal growth. Hence the formation of a depletion zone in microgravity environment is beneficial due to inhibition of impurity incorporatoin as well as preventing a kinetic roughening transition. It should be noted that for many proteins the magnitude of neither protein crystal growth rates nor solution supersaturation are predictors of a kinetic roughening transition. That is, the kinetic roughening transition supersaturation must be dtermined for each individual protein.

  15. Structural and bioinformatic characterization of an Acinetobacter baumannii type II carrier protein

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, C. Leigh; Gulick, Andrew M.

    2014-06-01

    The high-resolution crystal structure of a free-standing carrier protein from Acinetobacter baumannii that belongs to a larger NRPS-containing operon, encoded by the ABBFA-003406–ABBFA-003399 genes of A. baumannii strain AB307-0294, that has been implicated in A. baumannii motility, quorum sensing and biofilm formation, is presented. Microorganisms produce a variety of natural products via secondary metabolic biosynthetic pathways. Two of these types of synthetic systems, the nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and polyketide synthases (PKSs), use large modular enzymes containing multiple catalytic domains in a single protein. These multidomain enzymes use an integrated carrier protein domain to transport the growing, covalently bound natural product to the neighboring catalytic domains for each step in the synthesis. Interestingly, some PKS and NRPS clusters contain free-standing domains that interact intermolecularly with other proteins. Being expressed outside the architecture of a multi-domain protein, these so-called type II proteins present challenges to understand the precise role they play. Additional structures of individual and multi-domain components of the NRPS enzymes will therefore provide a better understanding of the features that govern the domain interactions in these interesting enzyme systems. The high-resolution crystal structure of a free-standing carrier protein from Acinetobacter baumannii that belongs to a larger NRPS-containing operon, encoded by the ABBFA-003406–ABBFA-003399 genes of A. baumannii strain AB307-0294, that has been implicated in A. baumannii motility, quorum sensing and biofilm formation, is presented here. Comparison with the closest structural homologs of other carrier proteins identifies the requirements for a conserved glycine residue and additional important sequence and structural requirements within the regions that interact with partner proteins.

  16. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Horse Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Horse Serum Albumin crystals grown during the USML-1 (STS-50) mission's Protein Crystal Growth Glovebox Experiment. These crystals were grown using a vapor diffusion technique at 22 degrees C. The crystals were allowed to grow for nine days while in orbit. Crystals of 1.0 mm in length were produced. The most abundant blood serum protein, regulates blood pressure and transports ions, metabolites, and therapeutic drugs. Principal Investigator was Edward Meehan.

  17. Laser Irradiated Growth of Protein Crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Hosokawa, Youichiroh; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Yoshimura, Masashi; Tsunaka, Yasuo; Morikawa, Masaaki; Kanaya, Shigenori; Masuhara, Hiroshi; Kai, Yasushi; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2003-07-01

    We succeeded in the first ever generation of protein crystals by laser irradiation. We call this process Laser Irradiated Growth Technique (LIGHT). Effective crystallization was confirmed by applying an intense femtosecond laser. The crystallization period was dramatically shortened by LIGHT. In addition, protein crystals were obtained by LIGHT from normally uncrystallized conditions. These results indicate that intense femtosecond laser irradiation generates crystal nuclei; protein crystals can then be grown from the nuclei that act as seeds in a supersaturated solution. The nuclei formation is possible primarily due to nonlinear nucleation processes of an intense femtosecond laser with a peak intensity of over a gigawatt (GW).

  18. The structure of the human sterol carrier protein X/sterol carrier protein 2 gene (SCP2)

    SciTech Connect

    Ohba, Takashi; Rennert, H.; Pfeifer, S.M.

    1994-11-15

    Sterol carrier protein X (SCPx) is a 58-kDa protein that is localized to peroxisomes. The amino acid sequence of the protein suggests that SCPx may function as a thiolase. The gene encoding SCPx also codes for a 15.3-kDa protein called sterol carrier protein 2 (SCP{sub 2}). Here the authors report the structure of this gene (SCP2), which spans approximately 80 kb and consists of 16 exons and 15 introns. Multiple transcription start sites were identified. The 5{prime} flanking region has characteristics of other peroxisomal protein promoters, which include the absence of a TATA box and G+C-enriched region containing several reverse GC boxes. 24 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Integrated Protein-Crystal-Growing Apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, Percy H.; Snyder, Robert S.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1991-01-01

    Proposed apparatus for research on growth of protein crystals dispenses drops of protein and precipitating solutions, provides controlled environment for crystalization, and stores crystals. Intended for use in microgravity of outer space, concept of apparatus also useful in design of self-contained terrestrial experiments for remote and/or automatic execution.

  20. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this research is to study the effect of low gravity on the growth of protein crystals and those parameters which will affect growth and crystal quality. The application of graphoepitaxy (artificial epitaxy) to proteins is detailed. The development of a method for the control of nucleation is discussed. The factor affecting the morphology of isocitrate lyase crystals is presented.

  1. Measurements of Protein Crystal Face Growth Rates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, S.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystal growth rates will be determined for several hyperthermophile proteins.; The growth rates will be assessed using available theoretical models, including kinetic roughening.; If/when kinetic roughening supersaturations are established, determinations of protein crystal quality over a range of supersaturations will also be assessed.; The results of our ground based effort may well address the existence of a correlation between fundamental growth mechanisms and protein crystal quality.

  2. System and method for forming synthetic protein crystals to determine the conformational structure by crystallography

    DOEpatents

    Craig, G.D.; Glass, R.; Rupp, B.

    1997-01-28

    A method is disclosed for forming synthetic crystals of proteins in a carrier fluid by use of the dipole moments of protein macromolecules that self-align in the Helmholtz layer adjacent to an electrode. The voltage gradients of such layers easily exceed 10{sup 6}V/m. The synthetic protein crystals are subjected to x-ray crystallography to determine the conformational structure of the protein involved. 2 figs.

  3. System and method for forming synthetic protein crystals to determine the conformational structure by crystallography

    DOEpatents

    Craig, George D.; Glass, Robert; Rupp, Bernhard

    1997-01-01

    A method for forming synthetic crystals of proteins in a carrier fluid by use of the dipole moments of protein macromolecules that self-align in the Helmholtz layer adjacent to an electrode. The voltage gradients of such layers easily exceed 10.sup.6 V/m. The synthetic protein crystals are subjected to x-ray crystallography to determine the conformational structure of the protein involved.

  4. Protein crystallization facilitated by molecularly imprinted polymers

    PubMed Central

    Saridakis, Emmanuel; Khurshid, Sahir; Govada, Lata; Phan, Quan; Hawkins, Daniel; Crichlow, Gregg V.; Lolis, Elias; Reddy, Subrayal M.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2011-01-01

    We present a previously undescribed initiative and its application, namely the design of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for producing protein crystals that are essential for determining high-resolution 3D structures of proteins. MIPs, also referred to as “smart materials,” are made to contain cavities capable of rebinding protein; thus the fingerprint of the protein created on the polymer allows it to serve as an ideal template for crystal formation. We have shown that six different MIPs induced crystallization of nine proteins, yielding crystals in conditions that do not give crystals otherwise. The incorporation of MIPs in screening experiments gave rise to crystalline hits in 8–10% of the trials for three target proteins. These hits would have been missed using other known nucleants. MIPs also facilitated the formation of large single crystals at metastable conditions for seven proteins. Moreover, the presence of MIPs has led to faster formation of crystals in all cases where crystals would appear eventually and to major improvement in diffraction in some cases. The MIPs were effective for their cognate proteins and also for other proteins, with size compatibility being a likely criterion for efficacy. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements demonstrated specific affinity between the MIP cavities and a protein-functionalized AFM tip, corroborating our hypothesis that due to the recognition of proteins by the cavities, MIPs can act as nucleation-inducing substrates (nucleants) by harnessing the proteins themselves as templates. PMID:21690356

  5. Membrane Protein Crystallization Using Laser Irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Murakami, Satoshi; Niino, Ai; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Yamaguchi, Akihito; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-10-01

    We demonstrate the crystallization of a membrane protein using femtosecond laser irradiation. This method, which we call the laser irradiated growth technique (LIGHT), is useful for producing AcrB crystals in a solution of low supersaturation range. LIGHT is characterized by reduced nucleation times. This feature is important for crystallizing membrane proteins because of their labile properties when solubilized as protein-detergent micelles. Using LIGHT, high-quality crystals of a membrane transporter protein, AcrB, were obtained. The resulting crystals were found to be of sufficiently high resolution for X-ray diffraction. The results reported here indicate that LIGHT is a powerful tool for membrane protein crystallization, as well as for the growth of soluble proteins.

  6. Ultrafast carrier dynamics in single-crystal In2Se3 thin layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Xin; Mafi, Elham; Gu, Yi

    2013-11-01

    Carrier dynamics in single-crystal In2Se3 thin layers with various thicknesses was studied by femtosecond optical pump-probe reflectivity and ultrafast photocurrent measurements. The results suggest that, in thinner (thicker) layers, the carrier recombination dynamics is dominated by three-carrier (bimolecular) Auger process. The Auger time constant was found to decrease with deceasing layer thickness. Surface states were suggested to be the origin of the transition between different Auger processes as the layer thickness varies.

  7. Crystal Dehydration in Membrane Protein Crystallography.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Weatherby, Juan; Moraes, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Crystal dehydration has been successfully implemented to facilitate the structural solution of a number of soluble and membrane protein structures over the years. This chapter will present the currently available tools to undertake controlled crystal dehydration, focusing on some successful membrane protein cases. Also discussed here will be some practical considerations regarding membrane protein crystals and the relationship between different techniques in order to help researchers to select the most suitable technique for their projects. PMID:27553236

  8. Protein-crystal growth experiment (planned)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujita, S.; Asano, K.; Hashitani, T.; Kitakohji, T.; Nemoto, H.; Kitamura, S.

    1988-01-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of a microgravity environment on protein crystal growth, a system was developed using 5 cubic feet Get Away Special payload canister. In the experiment, protein (myoglobin) will be simultaneously crystallized from an aqueous solution in 16 crystallization units using three types of crystallization methods, i.e., batch, vapor diffusion, and free interface diffusion. Each unit has two compartments: one for the protein solution and the other for the ammonium sulfate solution. Compartments are separated by thick acrylic or thin stainless steel plates. Crystallization will be started by sliding out the plates, then will be periodically recorded up to 120 hours by a still camera. The temperature will be passively controlled by a phase transition thermal storage component and recorded in IC memory throughout the experiment. Microgravity environment can then be evaluated for protein crystal growth by comparing crystallization in space with that on Earth.

  9. Protein carriers of conjugate vaccines: characteristics, development, and clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Pichichero, Michael E

    2013-12-01

    The immunogenicity of polysaccharides as human vaccines was enhanced by coupling to protein carriers. Conjugation transformed the T cell-independent polysaccharide vaccines of the past to T cell-dependent antigenic vaccines that were much more immunogenic and launched a renaissance in vaccinology. This review discusses the conjugate vaccines for prevention of infections caused by Hemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Neisseria meningitidis. Specifically, the characteristics of the proteins used in the construction of the vaccines including CRM, tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid, Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane complex, and Hemophilus influenzae protein D are discussed. The studies that established differences among and key features of conjugate vaccines including immunologic memory induction, reduction of nasopharyngeal colonization and herd immunity, and antibody avidity and avidity maturation are presented. Studies of dose, schedule, response to boosters, of single protein carriers with single and multiple polysaccharides, of multiple protein carriers with multiple polysaccharides and conjugate vaccines administered concurrently with other vaccines are discussed along with undesirable consequences of conjugate vaccines. The clear benefits of conjugate vaccines in improving the protective responses of the immature immune systems of young infants and the senescent immune systems of the elderly have been made clear and opened the way to development of additional vaccines using this technology for future vaccine products. PMID:23955057

  10. Legionella pneumophila Secretes a Mitochondrial Carrier Protein during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Dolezal, Pavel; Aili, Margareta; Tong, Janette; Jiang, Jhih-Hang; Marobbio, Carlo M.; Lee, Sau fung; Schuelein, Ralf; Belluzzo, Simon; Binova, Eva; Mousnier, Aurelie; Frankel, Gad; Giannuzzi, Giulia; Palmieri, Ferdinando; Gabriel, Kipros; Naderer, Thomas; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Lithgow, Trevor

    2012-01-01

    The Mitochondrial Carrier Family (MCF) is a signature group of integral membrane proteins that transport metabolites across the mitochondrial inner membrane in eukaryotes. MCF proteins are characterized by six transmembrane segments that assemble to form a highly-selective channel for metabolite transport. We discovered a novel MCF member, termed Legionella nucleotide carrier Protein (LncP), encoded in the genome of Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaire's disease. LncP was secreted via the bacterial Dot/Icm type IV secretion system into macrophages and assembled in the mitochondrial inner membrane. In a yeast cellular system, LncP induced a dominant-negative phenotype that was rescued by deleting an endogenous ATP carrier. Substrate transport studies on purified LncP reconstituted in liposomes revealed that it catalyzes unidirectional transport and exchange of ATP transport across membranes, thereby supporting a role for LncP as an ATP transporter. A hidden Markov model revealed further MCF proteins in the intracellular pathogens, Legionella longbeachae and Neorickettsia sennetsu, thereby challenging the notion that MCF proteins exist exclusively in eukaryotic organisms. PMID:22241989

  11. Method for controlling protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noever, David A. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    A method and apparatus for controlling the crystallization of protein by solvent evaporation including placing a drop of protein solution between and in contact with a pair of parallel plates and driving one of the plates toward and away from the other plate in a controlled manner to adjust the spacing between the plates is presented. The drop of solution forms a liquid cylinder having a height dependent upon the plate spacing thereby effecting the surface area available for solvent evaporation. When the spacing is close, evaporation is slow. Evaporation is increased by increasing the spacing between the plates until the breaking point of the liquid cylinder. One plate is mounted upon a fixed post while the other plate is carried by a receptacle movable relative to the post and driven by a belt driven screw drive. The temperature and humidity of the drop of protein solution are controlled by sealing the drop within the receptacle and mounting a heater and dessicant within the receptacle.

  12. Gold nanoparticle capture within protein crystal scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Ann E; Huber, Thaddaus R; Ni, Thomas W; Hartje, Luke F; Appel, Karina L; Yost, Jarad W; Ackerson, Christopher J; Snow, Christopher D

    2016-07-01

    DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)∼17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)∼1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was confirmed by single crystal X-ray crystallography. PMID:27264210

  13. Gold nanoparticle capture within protein crystal scaffolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Ann E.; Huber, Thaddaus R.; Ni, Thomas W.; Hartje, Luke F.; Appel, Karina L.; Yost, Jarad W.; Ackerson, Christopher J.; Snow, Christopher D.

    2016-06-01

    DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)~17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)~1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was confirmed by single crystal X-ray crystallography.DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)~17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)~1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was

  14. Growth of shaped single crystals of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, Abel; Rondón, Deyanira; García-Ruiz, Juan Ma.

    1996-09-01

    We present a procedure for obtaining protein single crystals that fill the capillary tubes in which they grow. The implementation was typical of the gel acupuncture method and the four different proteins are used as examples: lysozyme (HEW), thaumatin I, ferritin and insulin. Rod- and prismatic-shaped protein single crystals of these four proteins were grown inside capillary tubes of 0.2, 0.3, 0.5 mm in diameter and, for the case of lysozyme, up to 1.2 mm in diameter. The maximum length measured along the long axes of the rod crystals was 1.6 mm again for lysozyme crystals. It was observed that, once the capillary tube was filled, the crystal continues to grow by diffusion of the precipitating agent throughout the porous network formed by the protein crystal structure. We also discuss the possibility of growing these cylinders of crystalline proteins by the addition of protein solution to the mother liquor through the upper end of the glass capillary while the precipitating agent diffuses through the protein crystal itself. X-ray diffraction patterns confirm the single crystal character of the protein rods.

  15. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1989-01-01

    The mechanisms involved in protein crystallization and those parameters which influence the growth process and crystalline perfection were studied. The analysis of the flows around growing crystals is detailed. The preliminary study of the growth of isocitrate lyase and the crystal morphologies found are discussed. Preliminary results of controlled nucleation studies are presented.

  16. Peptide binding to a bacterial signal peptidase visualized by peptide tethering and carrier-driven crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Ting, Yi Tian; Harris, Paul W. R.; Batot, Gaelle; Brimble, Margaret A.; Baker, Edward N.; Young, Paul G.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial type I signal peptidases (SPases) are membrane-anchored serine proteases that process the signal peptides of proteins exported via the Sec and Tat secretion systems. Despite their crucial importance for bacterial virulence and their attractiveness as drug targets, only one such enzyme, LepB from Escherichia coli, has been structurally characterized, and the transient nature of peptide binding has stymied attempts to directly visualize SPase–substrate complexes. Here, the crystal structure of SpsB, the type I signal peptidase from the Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, is reported, and a peptide-tethering strategy that exploits the use of carrier-driven crystallization is described. This enabled the determination of the crystal structures of three SpsB–peptide complexes, both with cleavable substrates and with an inhibitory peptide. SpsB–peptide interactions in these complexes are almost exclusively limited to the canonical signal-peptide motif Ala-X-Ala, for which clear specificity pockets are found. Minimal contacts are made outside this core, with the variable side chains of the peptides accommodated in shallow grooves or exposed faces. These results illustrate how high fidelity is retained despite broad sequence diversity, in a process that is vital for cell survival. PMID:26870377

  17. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Deller, Marc C.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    The harvesting of protein crystals is almost always a necessary step in the determination of a protein structure using X-ray crystallographic techniques. However, protein crystals are usually fragile and susceptible to damage during the harvesting process. For this reason, protein crystal harvesting is the single step that remains entirely dependent on skilled human intervention. Automation has been implemented in the majority of other stages of the structure-determination pipeline, including cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and data collection. The gap in automation between crystallization and data collection results in a bottleneck in throughput and presents unfortunate opportunities for crystal damage. Several automated protein crystal harvesting systems have been developed, including systems utilizing microcapillaries, microtools, microgrippers, acoustic droplet ejection and optical traps. However, these systems have yet to be commonly deployed in the majority of crystallography laboratories owing to a variety of technical and cost-related issues. Automation of protein crystal harvesting remains essential for harnessing the full benefits of fourth-generation synchrotrons, free-electron lasers and microfocus beamlines. Furthermore, automation of protein crystal harvesting offers several benefits when compared with traditional manual approaches, including the ability to harvest microcrystals, improved flash-cooling procedures and increased throughput. PMID:24637746

  18. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting.

    PubMed

    Deller, Marc C; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-02-01

    The harvesting of protein crystals is almost always a necessary step in the determination of a protein structure using X-ray crystallographic techniques. However, protein crystals are usually fragile and susceptible to damage during the harvesting process. For this reason, protein crystal harvesting is the single step that remains entirely dependent on skilled human intervention. Automation has been implemented in the majority of other stages of the structure-determination pipeline, including cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and data collection. The gap in automation between crystallization and data collection results in a bottleneck in throughput and presents unfortunate opportunities for crystal damage. Several automated protein crystal harvesting systems have been developed, including systems utilizing microcapillaries, microtools, microgrippers, acoustic droplet ejection and optical traps. However, these systems have yet to be commonly deployed in the majority of crystallography laboratories owing to a variety of technical and cost-related issues. Automation of protein crystal harvesting remains essential for harnessing the full benefits of fourth-generation synchrotrons, free-electron lasers and microfocus beamlines. Furthermore, automation of protein crystal harvesting offers several benefits when compared with traditional manual approaches, including the ability to harvest microcrystals, improved flash-cooling procedures and increased throughput. PMID:24637746

  19. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen

    PubMed Central

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    High-quality macromolecular crystals are a prerequisite for the process of protein structure determination by X-ray diffraction. Unfortunately, the relative yield of diffraction-quality crystals from crystallization experiments is often very low. In this context, innovative crystallization screen formulations are continuously being developed. In the past, MORPHEUS, a screen in which each condition integrates a mix of additives selected from the Protein Data Bank, a cryoprotectant and a buffer system, was developed. Here, MORPHEUS II, a follow-up to the original 96-condition initial screen, is described. Reagents were selected to yield crystals when none might be observed in traditional initial screens. Besides, the screen includes heavy atoms for experimental phasing and small polyols to ensure the cryoprotection of crystals. The suitability of the resulting novel conditions is shown by the crystallization of a broad variety of protein samples and their efficiency is compared with commercially available conditions. PMID:26144227

  20. Carrier transport simulation of anomalous temperature dependence in nematic liquid crystals.

    PubMed

    Goto, Masanao; Takezoe, Hideo; Ishikawa, Ken

    2007-10-01

    We investigated the carrier transport phenomena in model liquid crystalline systems, which were constructed on the basis of the Gay-Berne potential and Monte Carlo calculation. The carrier transport was analyzed under the condition that the molecular arrangement in the system was fixed and thermally activated carriers were transported by hopping in the system. The carrier transport simulation was performed by Monte Carlo method using Miller-Abrahams hopping ratio. By these calculations, we reproduced the experimental results of the electronic conduction in nematic liquid crystals. PMID:17994925

  1. Carrier transport simulation of anomalous temperature dependence in nematic liquid crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goto, Masanao; Takezoe, Hideo; Ishikawa, Ken

    2007-10-01

    We investigated the carrier transport phenomena in model liquid crystalline systems, which were constructed on the basis of the Gay-Berne potential and Monte Carlo calculation. The carrier transport was analyzed under the condition that the molecular arrangement in the system was fixed and thermally activated carriers were transported by hopping in the system. The carrier transport simulation was performed by Monte Carlo method using Miller-Abrahams hopping ratio. By these calculations, we reproduced the experimental results of the electronic conduction in nematic liquid crystals.

  2. Which strategy for a protein crystallization project?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, C. E.

    2004-01-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryocrystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts.

  3. Advanced protein crystal growth programmatic sensitivity study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to define the costs of various APCG (Advanced Protein Crystal Growth) program options and to determine the parameters which, if changed, impact the costs and goals of the programs and to what extent. This was accomplished by developing and evaluating several alternate programmatic scenarios for the microgravity Advanced Protein Crystal Growth program transitioning from the present shuttle activity to the man tended Space Station to the permanently manned Space Station. These scenarios include selected variations in such sensitivity parameters as development and operational costs, schedules, technology issues, and crystal growth methods. This final report provides information that will aid in planning the Advanced Protein Crystal Growth Program.

  4. Which strategy for a protein crystallization project?

    PubMed

    Kundrot, C E

    2004-03-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryocrystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts. PMID:15004692

  5. Which Strategy for a Protein Crystallization Project?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, Craig E.

    2003-01-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryo-crystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts.

  6. Crystal structures of MBP fusion proteins.

    PubMed

    Waugh, David S

    2016-03-01

    Although chaperone-assisted protein crystallization remains a comparatively rare undertaking, the number of crystal structures of polypeptides fused to maltose-binding protein (MBP) that have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) has grown dramatically during the past decade. Altogether, 102 fusion protein structures were detected by Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) analysis. Collectively, these structures comprise a range of sizes, space groups, and resolutions that are typical of the PDB as a whole. While most of these MBP fusion proteins were equipped with short inter-domain linkers to increase their rigidity, fusion proteins with long linkers have also been crystallized. In some cases, surface entropy reduction mutations in MBP appear to have facilitated the formation of crystals. A comparison of the structures of fused and unfused proteins, where both are available, reveals that MBP-mediated structural distortions are very rare. PMID:26682969

  7. Protein Crystals Grown in the hand-held Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity (PCAM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Crystals grown in the hand-held Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity (PCAM) onboard STS-61C. The PCAM has a pedestal in the center of a circular chamber, the surrounding chamber holds an absorbent reservoir that contains a solution of the precipitant. Vapor pressure differences between the protein solution and the reservoir solution force water to move from the protein solution to the reservoir. As protein concentrations increase, protein crystals begin to nucleate and grow.

  8. Protein crystal growth (5-IML-1)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1992-01-01

    Proteins (enzymes, hormones, immunoglobulins) account for 50 pct. or more of the dry weight of most living systems. A detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. In principle, there are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor is the elimination of density driven convective flow. Other factors that can be controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystals in a gravitational field, and the potential advantage of doing containerless crystal growth. As a result of these theories and facts, one can readily understand why the microgravity environment of an Earth orbiting vehicle seems to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. This perception has led to the establishment of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project. The results of experiments already performed during STS missions have in many cases resulted in large protein crystals which are structurally correct. Thus, the near term objective of the PCG/ME project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  9. Charge carrier dynamics in bulk MoS2 crystal studied by transient absorption microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Nardeep; He, Jiaqi; He, Dawei; Wang, Yongsheng; Zhao, Hui

    2013-04-01

    We report a transient absorption microscopy study of charge carrier dynamics in bulk MoS2 crystals at room temperature. Charge carriers are injected by interband absorption of a 555-nm pulse, and probed by measuring differential reflection of a time-delayed and spatially scanned 660-nm pulse. We find an intervalley transfer time of about 0.35 ps, an energy relaxation time of hot carriers on the order of 50 ps, and a carrier lifetime of 180 ± 20 ps. By monitoring the spatiotemporal dynamics of carriers, we obtained a diffusion coefficient of thermalized electrons of 4.2 ± 0.5 cm2/s, corresponding to a mobility of 170 ± 20 cm2/Vs. We also observed a time-varying diffusion coefficient of hot carriers.

  10. Role of acyl carrier protein isoforms in plant lipid metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    Although acyl carrier protein (ACP) is the best studied protein in plant fatty acid biosynthesis, the in vivo forms of ACPs and their steady state pools have not been examined previously in either seed or leaf. Information about the relative pool sizes of free ACP and its acyl-ACP intermediates is essential for understanding regulation of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis in plants. In this study we utilized antibodies directed against spinach ACP as a sensitive assay to analyze the acyl groups while they were still covalently attached to ACPs. 4 refs., 4 figs.

  11. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen

    SciTech Connect

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-06-27

    MORPHEUS II is a 96-condition initial crystallization screen formulated de novo. The screen incorporates reagents selected from the Protein Data Bank to yield crystals that are not observed in traditional conditions. In addition, the formulation facilitates the optimization and cryoprotection of crystals. High-quality macromolecular crystals are a prerequisite for the process of protein structure determination by X-ray diffraction. Unfortunately, the relative yield of diffraction-quality crystals from crystallization experiments is often very low. In this context, innovative crystallization screen formulations are continuously being developed. In the past, MORPHEUS, a screen in which each condition integrates a mix of additives selected from the Protein Data Bank, a cryoprotectant and a buffer system, was developed. Here, MORPHEUS II, a follow-up to the original 96-condition initial screen, is described. Reagents were selected to yield crystals when none might be observed in traditional initial screens. Besides, the screen includes heavy atoms for experimental phasing and small polyols to ensure the cryoprotection of crystals. The suitability of the resulting novel conditions is shown by the crystallization of a broad variety of protein samples and their efficiency is compared with commercially available conditions.

  12. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1990-01-01

    The effect of low gravity on the growth of protein crystals and those parameters which will affect growth and crystal quality was studied. The proper design of the flight hardware and experimental protocols are highly dependent on understanding the factors which influence the nucleation and growth of crystals of biological macromolecules. Thus, those factors are investigated and the body of knowledge which has been built up for small molecule crystallization. These data also provide a basis of comparison for the results obtained from low-g experiments. The flows around growing crystals are detailed. The preliminary study of the growth of isocitrate lyase, the crystal morphologies found and the preliminary x ray results are discussed. The design of two apparatus for protein crystal growth by temperature control are presented along with preliminary results.

  13. The Protein Crystallization Facility STS-95

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization Facility will be used to grow crystals of human insulin. Insulin is the primary treatment for diabetes, the fourth leading cause of death by disease. Research on STS-95 is aimed at producing crystals of even higher quality, which when combined with new analysis techniques will permit a better understanding of the interaction between insulin and its receptor. This has the potential to aid in the development of a new commercially available insulin product with unique time release properties that could reduce fluctuations in a patient's blood sugar level. The Protein Crystallization Facility supports large-scale commercial investigations.

  14. Protein Crystallization Using Room Temperature Ionic Fluids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Paley, Mark Steve; Turner, Megan B.; Rogers, Robin D.

    2006-01-01

    The ionic liquids (ILs) 1-butyl-3-methylimidizolium chloride (C4mim-C1), 1-butyl-3- methylimidizolium diethyleneglycol monomethylethersulfate ([C4mim]DEMGS), and 1-butyl-1 -methylpyrollidinium dihydrogenphosphate ([p1,4]dhp) were tested for their effects on the crystallization of the proteins canavalin, beta-lactoglobulin B, xylanase, and glucose isomerase, using a standard high throughput screen. The crystallization experiments were set up with the ILs added to the protein solutions at 0.2 and 0.4 M final concentrations. Crystallization droplets were set up at three proteixprecipitant ratios (1:1, 2:1, and 4:l), which served to progressively dilute the effects of the screen components while increasing the equilibrium protein and IL concentrations. Crystals were obtained for all four proteins at a number of conditions where they were not obtained from the IL-free control experiment. Over half of the protein-IL combinations tested had more successful outcomes than negative, where the IL-free crystallization was better than the corresponding IL-containing outcome, relative to the control. One of the most common causes of a negative outcome was solubilization of the protein by the IL, resulting in a clear drop. In one instance, we were able to use the IL-induced solubilizing to obtain beta-lactoglobulin B crystals from conditions that gave precipitated protein in the absence of IL. The results suggest that it may be feasible to develop ILs specifically for the task of macromolecule crystallization.

  15. Thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao

    In this thesis, the thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein from Bombyx mori silkworm, was treated as a model for the general study of protein based materials, combining theories from both biophysics and polymer physics fields. A systematic and scientific path way to model the dynamic beta-sheet crystallization process of silk fibroin protein was presented in the following sequence: (1) The crystallinity, fractions of secondary structures, and phase compositions in silk fibroin proteins at any transition stage were determined. Two experimental methods, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with Fourier self-deconvolution, and specific reversing heat capacity, were used together for the first time for modeling the static structures and phases in the silk fibroin proteins. The protein secondary structure fractions during the crystallization were quantitatively determined. The possibility of existence of a "rigid amorphous phase" in silk protein was also discussed. (2) The function of bound water during the crystallization process of silk fibroin was studied using heat capacity, and used to build a silk-water dynamic crystallization model. The fundamental concepts and thermal properties of silk fibroin with/without bound water were discussed. Results show that intermolecular bound water molecules, acting as a plasticizer, will cause silk to display a water-induced glass transition around 80°C. During heating, water is lost, and the change of the microenvironment in the silk fibroin chains induces a mesophase prior to thermal crystallization. Real time FTIR during heating and isothermal holding above Tg show the tyrosine side chain changes only during the former process, while beta sheet crystallization occurs only during the latter process. Analogy is made between the crystallization of synthetic polymers according to the four-state scheme of Strobl, and the crystallization process of silk fibroin, which includes an intermediate precursor

  16. Topological Predictions for Integral Membrane Channel and Carrier Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Abhinay, Reddy; Jaehoon, Cho; Sam, Ling; Vamsee, Reddy; Maksim, Shlykov; Milton, Saier

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated topological predictions for nine different programs, HMMTOP, TMHMM, SVMTOP, DAS, SOSUI, TOPCONS, PHOBIUS, MEMSAT-SVM (hereinafter referred to as MEMSAT), and SPOCTOPUS. These programs were first evaluated using four large topologically well-defined families of secondary transporters, and the three best programs were further evaluated using topologically more diverse families of channels and carriers. In the initial studies, the order of accuracy was: SPOCTOPUS>MEMSAT>HMMTOP>TOPCONS>PHOBIUS>TMHMM>SVMTOP>DAS>S OSUI. Some families, such as the Sugar Porter family (2.A.1.1) of the Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS; TC# 2.A.1) and the Amino acid/Polyamine/Organocation (APC) Family (TC# 2.A.3), were correctly predicted with high accuracy while others, such as the Mitochondrial Carrier (MC) (TC# 2.A.29) and the K+ transporter (Trk) families (TC# 2.A.38), were predicted with much lower accuracy. For small, topologically homogeneous families, SPOCTOPUS and MEMSAT were generally most reliable, while with large, more diverse superfamilies, HMMTOP often proved to have the greatest prediction accuracy. We next developed a novel program, TM-STATS, that tabulates HMMTOP, SPOCTOPUS or MEMSAT-based topological predictions for any subdivision (class, subclass, superfamily, family, subfamily, or any combination of these) of the Transporter Classification Database (TCDB; www.tcdb.org) and examined the following subclasses: α-type channel proteins (TC subclasses 1.A and 1.E), secreted poreforming toxins (TC subclass 1.C) and secondary carriers (subclass 2.A). Histograms 3 were generated for each of these subclasses, and the results were analyzed according to subclass, family and protein. The results provide an update of topological predictions for integral membrane transport proteins as well as guides for the development of more reliable topological prediction programs, taking family-specific characteristics into account. PMID:24992992

  17. Crystallization of Membrane Proteins by Vapor Diffusion

    PubMed Central

    Delmar, Jared A.; Bolla, Jani Reddy; Su, Chih-Chia; Yu, Edward W.

    2016-01-01

    X-ray crystallography remains the most robust method to determine protein structure at the atomic level. However, the bottlenecks of protein expression and purification often discourage further study. In this chapter, we address the most common problems encountered at these stages. Based on our experiences in expressing and purifying antimicrobial efflux proteins, we explain how a pure and homogenous protein sample can be successfully crystallized by the vapor diffusion method. We present our current protocols and methodologies for this technique. Case studies show step-by-step how we have overcome problems related to expression and diffraction, eventually producing high quality membrane protein crystals for structural determinations. It is our hope that a rational approach can be made of the often anecdotal process of membrane protein crystallization. PMID:25950974

  18. Dependence of charge transfer reorganization energy on carrier localisation in organic molecular crystals.

    PubMed

    Bromley, Stefan T; Illas, Francesc; Mas-Torrent, Marta

    2008-01-01

    Taking the organic molecular material dithiophene-tetrathiafulvalene (DT-TTF) as an example of a high mobility organic molecular material, we use density functional calculations to calculate the dependency of the reorganization energy associated with charge carrier transport on: (i) the geometric and electronic responsiveness of the local molecular crystal environment, and, (ii) the local spatial extent of the charge carrier. We find that in our most realistic extended models the charge transfer reorganization energy is strongly dependent on carrier localization. In particular, whereas highly localized carriers are found to be highly susceptible to their charge transfer efficiency being affected by changes in the local crystal environment, more delocalized carriers are better able to maintain their low reorganization energies. Considering that maintaining a relatively small charge transfer reorganization energy magnitude is an important factor in achieving high carrier mobilities, we suggest that those materials better able to sustain carriers with short-range thermally resistant intermolecular delocalisation should be sought for device applications. PMID:18075690

  19. Spectroscopy of Charge Carriers and Traps in Field-Doped Single Crystal Organic Semiconductors

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Xiaoyang

    2014-12-10

    The proposed research aims to achieve quantitative, molecular level understanding of charge carriers and traps in field-doped crystalline organic semiconductors via in situ linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopy, in conjunction with transport measurements and molecular/crystal engineering. Organic semiconductors are emerging as viable materials for low-cost electronics and optoelectronics, such as organic photovoltaics (OPV), organic field effect transistors (OFETs), and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Despite extensive studies spanning many decades, a clear understanding of the nature of charge carriers in organic semiconductors is still lacking. It is generally appreciated that polaron formation and charge carrier trapping are two hallmarks associated with electrical transport in organic semiconductors; the former results from the low dielectric constants and weak intermolecular electronic overlap while the latter can be attributed to the prevalence of structural disorder. These properties have lead to the common observation of low charge carrier mobilities, e.g., in the range of 10-5 - 10-3 cm2/Vs, particularly at low carrier concentrations. However, there is also growing evidence that charge carrier mobility approaching those of inorganic semiconductors and metals can exist in some crystalline organic semiconductors, such as pentacene, tetracene and rubrene. A particularly striking example is single crystal rubrene (Figure 1), in which hole mobilities well above 10 cm2/Vs have been observed in OFETs operating at room temperature. Temperature dependent transport and spectroscopic measurements both revealed evidence of free carriers in rubrene. Outstanding questions are: what are the structural features and physical properties that make rubrene so unique? How do we establish fundamental design principles for the development of other organic semiconductors of high mobility? These questions are critically important but not comprehensive, as the nature of

  20. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase. This enzyme is associated with the degradation of lung tissue in people suffering from emphysema. It is useful in studying causes of this disease. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  1. The Nucleation and Growth of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc

    2004-01-01

    Obtaining crystals of suitable size and high quality continues to be a major bottleneck in macromolecular crystallography. Currently, structural genomics efforts are achieving on average about a 10% success rate in going from purified protein to a deposited crystal structure. Growth of crystals in microgravity was proposed as a means of overcoming size and quality problems, which subsequently led to a major NASA effort in microgravity crystal growth, with the agency also funding research into understanding the process. Studies of the macromolecule crystal nucleation and growth process were carried out in a number of labs in an effort to understand what affected the resultant crystal quality on Earth, and how microgravity improved the process. Based upon experimental evidence, as well as simple starting assumptions, we have proposed that crystal nucleation occurs by a series of discrete self assembly steps, which 'set' the underlying crystal symmetry. This talk will review the model developed, and its origins, in our laboratory for how crystals nucleate and grow, and will then present, along with preliminary data, how we propose to use this model to improve the success rate for obtaining crystals from a given protein.

  2. Can Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    In quiescent environments (microgravity, capillary tubes, gels) formation of a depletion zone is to be expected, due either to limited sedimentation, density driven convection or a combination of both. The formation of a depletion zone can: Modify solution supersaturation near crystal; Give rise to impurity partitioning. It is conjectured that both supersaturation and impurity partitioning affect protein crystal quality and size. Further detailed investigations on various proteins are needed to assess above hypothesis.

  3. Protein crystallization on liquid surfaces: Forced versus natural crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsa, A.

    2005-11-01

    Two-dimensional crystallization of proteins has recently been reported where streptavidin protein dissolved in the bulk liquid anchors to binding sites on a biotinylated lipid monolayer initially spread on the liquid surface. Thermodynamic aspects investigated include the effects of subphase buffer and pH, dilution of bulk protein and monolayer. Here, we investigate three possible avenues where flow can influence protein crystallization: i) change the initial state of monolayer, ii) advect dissolved protein to the interface, iii) apply direct hydrodynamic force on the crystals at the interface. The flow system consists of a stationary open cylinder driven by constant rotation of the floor, in the axisymmetric flow regime with inertia. Direct imaging of the interface illuminated by forward scattering of a laser was utilized to avoid labeling proteins for conventional fluorescence microscopy. These images provide greater detail than Brewster angle microscopy. Scientific motivation is to use flow to probe protein structure, and the application is to make designer protein thin-films, e.g. for biosensors.

  4. Two puzzling aspects of protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, M. L.; Saville, D. A.

    1988-01-01

    A study is presented of several mechanisms which may reduce crystal growth rates and or terminate crystal growth. It is found that salt gradients which change the local chemical potential of the protein are insufficient to account for the slow crystal growth rates which have been reported. Contaminants which adsorb protein from solution may reduce the effective protein concentration, but the impurity's concentration and its affinity for protein are unknown. Association of protein molecules in bulk solution can reduce the monomer concentration significantly, but extant theory and experiment are not sensitive enough to determine the actual concentration of aggregates in solution. For systems of interest, shear-induced effects were found to be too weak to interfere with normal binding of incoming protein molecules. Although we found that most crystal growth occurs in a regime where both interfacial kinetics and diffusion influence crystal growth, the role of mass transfer rates on the terminal size of crystals is unknown, primarily because no data exist which cover the size range of interest (0.1 mm to 1 mm in length).

  5. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Pusey, Marc; Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent. PMID:26144224

  6. Induction of protein crystallization by platinum nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeda, Yoshihiro; Mafuné, Fumitaka

    2016-03-01

    We have investigated effects of platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) on protein crystal nucleation. The presence of PtNPs increased the number of crystals in a crystallization solution, indicating that the PtNPs have the ability to promote the crystal nucleation. Dynamic light scattering measurements revealed that the PtNP gathers more than 10 lysozyme molecules around it to form an embryonic complex of PtNP and lysozyme. Zeta potential measurements revealed that the charges of the lysozyme molecules were reduced by delocalization of their charges in the complex. As a result, the energy barrier of association between the complexes is reduced, followed by the nucleation.

  7. Droplet hydrodynamics during lysozyme protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, T; Asfer, M; Panigrahi, P K

    2012-11-01

    Various experimental studies in zero gravity have been reported in the literature for generation of superior quality crystals due to the importance of convective transport on protein crystal quality. However, limited experimental and numerical studies are available in the literature for a complete characterization of transport phenomena during the protein crystal growth process. The present investigation reports experimental results on convective motion inside the droplet during protein crystallization by the vapor diffusion method. Lysozyme crystals are grown using a sitting drop method and micro-particle image velocimetry is used for investigating the detailed hydrodynamics inside the droplet. Dynamic evolution of the flow field for the complete crystal growth process, i.e., during the prenucleation, nucleation, and postnucleation stage, is reported. Various flow transitions are observed during the complete cycle of the protein crystal growth process. Significant Marangoni convection is observed during the prenucleation period followed by buoyancy-driven convection during the postnucleation period. The Marangoni convection flow patterns observed during the prenucleation stage match those of evaporating droplets. The postnucleation convection patterns are similar to those of ethanol-water mixture evaporation with high ethanol concentration. PMID:23214788

  8. Convection effects in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Glyn O.

    1988-01-01

    Protein crystals for X-ray diffraction study are usually grown resting on the bottom of a hanging drop of a saturated protein solution, with slow evaporation to the air in a small enclosed cell. The evaporation rate is controlled by hanging the drop above a reservoir of water, with its saturation vapor pressure decreased by a low concentration of a passive solute. The drop has a lower solute concentration, and its volume shrinks by evaporation until the molecular concentrations match. Protein crystals can also be grown from a seed crystal suspended or supported in the interior of a supersaturated solution. The main analysis of this report concerns this case because it is less complicated than hanging-drop growth. Convection effects have been suggested as the reason for the apparent cessation of growth at a certain rather small crystal size. It seeems that as the crystal grows, the number of dislocations increases to a point where further growth is hindered. Growth in the microgravity environment of an orbiting space vehicle has been proposed as a method for obtaining larger crystals. Experimental observations of convection effects during the growth of protein crystals have been reported.

  9. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1993-01-01

    This Final Technical Report for NASA Grant NAG8-774 covers the period from April 27, 1989 through December 31, 1992. It covers five main topics: fluid flow studies, the influence of growth conditions on the morphology of isocitrate lyase crystals, control of nucleation, the growth of lysozyme by the temperature gradient method and graphoepitaxy of protein crystals. The section on fluid flow discusses the limits of detectability in the Schlieren imaging of fluid flows around protein crystals. The isocitrate lyase study compares crystals grown terrestrially under a variety of conditions with those grown in space. The controlling factor governing the morphology of the crystals is the supersaturation. The lack of flow in the interface between the drop and the atmosphere in microgravity causes protein precipitation in the boundary layer and a lowering of the supersaturation in the drop. This lowered supersaturation leads to improved crystal morphology. Preliminary experiments with lysozyme indicated that localized temperature gradients could be used to nucleate crystals in a controlled manner. An apparatus (thermonucleator) was designed to study the controlled nucleation of protein crystals. This apparatus has been used to nucleate crystals of materials with both normal (ice-water, Rochelle salt and lysozyme) and retrograde (horse serum albumin and alpha chymotrypsinogen A) solubility. These studies have lead to the design of an new apparatus that small and more compatible with use in microgravity. Lysozyme crystals were grown by transporting nutrient from a source (lysozyme powder) to the crystal in a temperature gradient. The influence of path length and cross section on the growth rate was demonstrated. This technique can be combined with the thermonucleator to control both nucleation and growth. Graphoepitaxy utilizes a patterned substrate to orient growing crystals. In this study, silicon substrates with 10 micron grooves were used to grow crystals of catalase

  10. Crystallization of Membrane protein under Microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, C.; Frank, J.; Laubender, G.; Fromme, P.

    2002-01-01

    Proteins are biological molecules which catalyse all essential reactions of cells. The knowledge on the structure of these molecular machines is necessary for the understanding of their function. Many diseases are caused by defects of membrane proteins. In order to develop new medical therapies the construction principle of the proteins must be known. The main difficulty in the determination of the structure of these membrane protein complexes is the crystallisation. Membrane proteins are normally not soluble in water and have therefore to be solubilised from the membranes by use of detergents. The whole protein-detergent micelle must be crystallised to maintain the functional integrity of the protein complexes. These difficulties are the reasons for the fact that crystals of membrane proteins are difficult to grow and most of them are badly ordered, being not appropriate for X-ray structure analysis. The crystallisation of proteins under microgravity leads to the growth of better-ordered crystals by reduction of nucleation rate and the undisturbed growth of the hovering seeds by the absence of sedimentation and convection. The successful crystallistation of a membrane protein under microgravity has been performed during the space shuttle missions USML2 and STS95 in the Space Shuttle with Photosystem I as model protein. Photosystem I is a large membrane protein complex which catalyses one of the first and fundamental steps in oxygen photosynthesis. The crystals of Photosystem I, grown under microgravity were twenty times larger than all Photosystem I crystals which have been grown on earth. They were the basis for the determination of an improved X-ray structure of Photo- system I. These experiments opened the way for the structure enlightenment of more membrane proteins on the basis of microgravity experiments. On board of the International Space Station ideal conditions for the crystallisation of proteins under zero gravity are existing.

  11. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Pusey, Marc Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-06-27

    The presence of a covalently bound fluorescent probe at a concentration of <0.5% does not affect the outcome of macromolecule crystallization screening experiments. Additionally, the fluorescence can be used to determine new, not immediately apparent, lead crystallization conditions. Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent.

  12. Charge Carrier Lifetimes Exceeding 15 μs in Methylammonium Lead Iodide Single Crystals.

    PubMed

    Bi, Yu; Hutter, Eline M; Fang, Yanjun; Dong, Qingfeng; Huang, Jinsong; Savenije, Tom J

    2016-03-01

    The charge carrier lifetime in organic-inorganic perovskites is one of the most important parameters for modeling and design of solar cells and other types of devices. In this work, we use CH3NH3PbI3 single crystal as a model system to study optical absorption, charge carrier generation, and recombination lifetimes. We show that commonly applied photoluminescence lifetime measurements may dramatically underestimate the intrinsic carrier lifetime in CH3NH3PbI3, which could be due to severe charge recombination at the crystal surface and/or fast electron-hole recombination close to the surface. By using the time-resolved microwave conductivity technique, we investigated the lifetime of free mobile charges inside the crystals. Most importantly, we find that for homogeneous excitation throughout the crystal, the charge carrier lifetime exceeds 15 μs. This means that the diffusion length in CH3NH3PbI3 can be as large as 50 μm if it is no longer limited by the dimensions of the crystallites. PMID:26901658

  13. Crystallization Optimum Solubility Screening: using crystallization results to identify the optimal buffer for protein crystal formation

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, Bernard; Stevens, Raymond C.; Page, Rebecca

    2005-12-01

    It is shown how protein crystallization results can be used to identify buffers that improve protein solubility and, in turn, crystallization success. An optimal solubility screen is described that uses the results of crystallization trials to identify buffers that improve protein solubility and, in turn, crystallization success. This screen is useful not only for standard crystallization experiments, but also can easily be implemented into any high-throughput structure-determination pipeline. As a proof of principle, the predicted novel-fold protein AF2059 from Archaeoglobus fulgidus, which was known to precipitate in most buffers and particularly during concentration experiments, was selected. Using the crystallization results of 192 independent crystallization trials, it was possible to identify a buffer containing 100 mM CHES pH 9.25 that significantly improves its solubility. After transferring AF2059 into this ‘optimum-solubility’ buffer, the protein was rescreened for crystal formation against these same 192 conditions. Instead of extensive precipitation, as observed initially, it was found that 24 separate conditions produced crystals and the exchange of AF2059 into CHES buffer significantly improved crystallization success. Fine-screen optimization of these conditions led to the production of a crystal suitable for high-resolution (2.2 Å) structure determination.

  14. Protein Crystallization for X-ray Crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Dessau, Moshe A.; Modis, Yorgo

    2011-01-01

    Using the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules to infer how they function is one of the most important fields of modern biology. The availability of atomic resolution structures provides a deep and unique understanding of protein function, and helps to unravel the inner workings of the living cell. To date, 86% of the Protein Data Bank (rcsb-PDB) entries are macromolecular structures that were determined using X-ray crystallography. To obtain crystals suitable for crystallographic studies, the macromolecule (e.g. protein, nucleic acid, protein-protein complex or protein-nucleic acid complex) must be purified to homogeneity, or as close as possible to homogeneity. The homogeneity of the preparation is a key factor in obtaining crystals that diffract to high resolution (Bergfors, 1999; McPherson, 1999). Crystallization requires bringing the macromolecule to supersaturation. The sample should therefore be concentrated to the highest possible concentration without causing aggregation or precipitation of the macromolecule (usually 2-50 mg/ mL). Introducing the sample to precipitating agent can promote the nucleation of protein crystals in the solution, which can result in large three-dimensional crystals growing from the solution. There are two main techniques to obtain crystals: vapor diffusion and batch crystallization. In vapor diffusion, a drop containing a mixture of precipitant and protein solutions is sealed in a chamber with pure precipitant. Water vapor then diffuses out of the drop until the osmolarity of the drop and the precipitant are equal (Figure 1A). The dehydration of the drop causes a slow concentration of both protein and precipitant until equilibrium is achieved, ideally in the crystal nucleation zone of the phase diagram. The batch method relies on bringing the protein directly into the nucleation zone by mixing protein with the appropriate amount of precipitant (Figure 1B). This method is usually performed under a paraffin

  15. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins Using Lipidic Mesophases

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Cherezov, Vadim

    2009-01-01

    A detailed protocol for crystallizing membrane proteins that makes use of lipidic mesophases is described. This has variously been referred to as the lipid cubic phase or in meso method. The method has been shown to be quite general in that it has been used to solve X-ray crystallographic structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins, proteins that are monomeric, homo- and hetero-multimeric, chromophore-containing and chromophore-free, and α-helical and β-barrel proteins. Its most recent successes are the human engineered β2-adrenergic and adenosine A2A G protein-coupled receptors. Protocols are provided for preparing and characterizing the lipidic mesophase, for reconstituting the protein into the monoolein-based mesophase, for functional assay of the protein in the mesophase, and for setting up crystallizations in manual mode. Methods for harvesting micro-crystals are also described. The time required to prepare the protein-loaded mesophase and to set up a crystallization plate manually is about one hour. PMID:19390528

  16. Protein Crystallization: Specific Phenomena and General Insights on Crystallization Kinetics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, F.

    1998-01-01

    Experimental and simulation studies of the nucleation and growth kinetics of proteins have revealed phenomena that are specific for macromolecular crystallization, and others that provide a more detailed understanding of solution crystallization in general. The more specific phenomena, which include metastable liquid-liquid phase separations and gelation prior to solid nucleation, are due to the small ratio of the intermolecular interaction-range to the size of molecules involved. The apparently more generally applicable mechanisms include the cascade-like formation of macrosteps, as an intrinsic morphological instability that roots in the coupled bulk transport and nonlinear interface kinetics in systems with mixed growth rate control. Analyses of this nonlinear response provide (a) criteria for the choice of bulk transport conditions to minimize structural defect formation, and (b) indications that the "slow" protein crystallization kinetics stems from the mutual retardation of growth steps.

  17. Protein Crystal Growth Dynamics and Impurity Incorporation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alex A.; Thomas, Bill

    2000-01-01

    The general concepts and theories of crystal growth are proven to work for biomolecular crystallization. This allowed us to extract basic parameters controlling growth kinetics - free surface energy, alpha, and kinetic coefficient, beta, for steps. Surface energy per molecular site in thermal units, alpha(omega)(sup 2/3)/kT approx. = 1, is close to the one for inorganic crystals in solution (omega is the specific molecular volume, T is the temperature). Entropic restrictions on incorporation of biomolecules into the lattice reduce the incorporation rate, beta, by a factor of 10(exp 2) - 10(exp 3) relative to inorganic crystals. A dehydration barrier of approx. 18kcal/mol may explain approx. 10(exp -6) times difference between frequencies of adding a molecule to the lattice and Brownian attempts to do so. The latter was obtained from AFM measurements of step and kink growth rates on orthorhombic lysozyme. Protein and many inorganic crystals typically do not belong to the Kossel type, thus requiring a theory to account for inequivalent molecular positions within its unit cell. Orthorhombic lysozyme will serve as an example of how to develop such a theory. Factors deteriorating crystal quality - stress and strain, mosaicity, molecular disorder - will be reviewed with emphasis on impurities. Dimers in ferritin and lysozyme and acetylated lysozyme, are microheterogeneous i.e. nearly isomorphic impurities that are shown to be preferentially trapped by tetragonal lysozyme and ferritin crystals, respectively. The distribution coefficient, K defined as a ratio of the (impurity/protein) ratios in crystal and in solution is a measure of trapping. For acetylated lysoyzme, K = 2.15 or, 3.42 for differently acetylated forms, is independent of both the impurity and the crystallizing protein concentration. The reason is that impurity flux to the surface is constant while the growth rate rises with supersaturation. About 3 times lower dimer concentration in space grown ferritin and

  18. Quantum effect on the nucleation of plastic deformation carriers and destruction in crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Khon, Yury A. Kaminskii, Petr P.

    2015-10-27

    New concepts on the irreversible crystal deformation as a structure transformation caused by a change in interatomic interactions at fluctuations of the electron density under loading are described. The change in interatomic interactions lead to the excitation of dynamical displacements of atoms. A model and a theory of a deformable pristine crystal taking into account the excitation of thermally activated and dynamical displacements of atoms are suggested. New mechanisms of the nucleation of plastic deformation carriers and destruction in pristine crystals at the real value of the deforming stress are studied.

  19. Datamining protein structure databanks for crystallization patterns of proteins.

    PubMed

    Valafar, Homayoun; Prestegard, James H; Valafar, Faramarz

    2002-12-01

    A study of 345 protein structures selected among 1,500 structures determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, revealed useful correlations between crystallization properties and several parameters for the studied proteins. NMR methods of structure determination do not require the growth of protein crystals, and hence allow comparison of properties of proteins that have or have not been the subject of crystallographic approaches. One- and two-dimensional statistical analyses of the data confirmed a hypothesized relation between the size of the molecule and its crystallization potential. Furthermore, two-dimensional Bayesian analysis revealed a significant relationship between relative ratio of different secondary structures and the likelihood of success for crystallization trials. The most immediate result is an apparent correlation of crystallization potential with protein size. Further analysis of the data revealed a relationship between the unstructured fraction of proteins and the success of its crystallization. Utilization of Bayesian analysis on the latter correlation resulted in a prediction performance of about 64%, whereas a two-dimensional Bayesian analysis succeeded with a performance of about 75%. PMID:12594078

  20. Nucleation and growth control in protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Nyce, Thomas A.; Meehan, Edward J.; Sowers, Jennifer W.; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1990-01-01

    The five topics summarized in this final report are as follows: (1) a technique for the expedient, semi-automated determination of protein solubilities as a function of temperature and application of this technique to proteins other than lysozyme; (2) a small solution cell with adjustable temperature gradients for the growth of proteins at a predetermined location through temperature programming; (3) a microscopy system with image storage and processing capability for high resolution optical studies of temperature controlled protein growth and etching kinetics; (4) growth experiments with lysozyme in thermosyphon flow ; and (5) a mathematical model for the evolution of evaporation/diffusion induced concentration gradients in the hanging drop protein crystallization technique.

  1. Liquid nitrogen dewar for protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Gaseous Nitrogen Dewar apparatus developed by Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine for use aboard Mir and the International Space Station allows large quantities of protein samples to be crystallized in orbit. The specimens are contained either in plastic tubing (heat-sealed at each end). Biological samples are prepared with a precipitating agent in either a batch or liquid-liquid diffusion configuration. The samples are then flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen before crystallization can start. On orbit, the Dewar is placed in a quiet area of the station and the nitrogen slowly boils off (it is taken up by the environmental control system), allowing the proteins to thaw to begin crystallization. The Dewar is returned to Earth after one to four months on orbit, depending on Shuttle flight opportunities. The tubes then are analyzed for crystal presence and quality

  2. Carriers

    MedlinePlus

    ... for those known to be at risk for genetic diseases. Reproductive Choices For couples who are carriers, reproductive decisions can be sensitive. A number of options are available, such as adoption, prenatal testing, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD screens ...

  3. Cry Protein Crystals: A Novel Platform for Protein Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Bonnegarde-Bernard, Astrid; Wallace, Julie A.; Dean, Donald H.; Ostrowski, Michael C.; Burry, Richard W.; Boyaka, Prosper N.; Chan, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Protein delivery platforms are important tools in the development of novel protein therapeutics and biotechnologies. We have developed a new class of protein delivery agent based on sub-micrometer-sized Cry3Aa protein crystals that naturally form within the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. We demonstrate that fusion of the cry3Aa gene to that of various reporter proteins allows for the facile production of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals for use in subsequent applications. These Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals are efficiently taken up and retained by macrophages and other cell lines in vitro, and can be delivered to mice in vivo via multiple modes of administration. Oral delivery of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals to C57BL/6 mice leads to their uptake by MHC class II cells, including macrophages in the Peyer’s patches, supporting the notion that the Cry3Aa framework can be used to stabilize cargo protein against degradation for delivery to gastrointestinal lymphoid tissues. PMID:26030844

  4. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1992-01-01

    A study is presented of the crystallization of isocitrate lyase (ICL) and the influence of the lack of thermal solutal convection in microgravity on the morphology of ICL crystals is discussed. The latest results of studies with thermonucleation are presented. These include the nucleation of a protein with retrograde solubility and an unknown solubility curve. A new design for a more microgravity compatible thermonuclear is presented.

  5. Structure of 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier protein) synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8

    SciTech Connect

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin Ukita, Yoko; Miyano, Masashi; Kunishima, Naoki

    2008-05-01

    The crystal structure of 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier protein) synthase II from T. thermophilus HB8 has been determined at 2.0 Å resolution and compared with the structures of β-keto-ACP synthases from other sources. The β-ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) synthases (β-keto-ACP synthases; KAS) catalyse the addition of two-carbon units to the growing acyl chain during the elongation phase of fatty-acid synthesis. As key regulators of bacterial fatty-acid synthesis, they are promising targets for the development of new antibacterial agents. The crystal structure of 3-oxoacyl-ACP synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8 (TtKAS II) has been solved by molecular replacement and refined at 2.0 Å resolution. The crystal is orthorhombic, space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 72.07, b = 185.57, c = 62.52 Å, and contains one homodimer in the asymmetric unit. The subunits adopt the well known α-β-α-β-α thiolase fold that is common to ACP synthases. The structural and sequence similarities of TtKAS II to KAS I and KAS II enzymes of known structure from other sources support the hypothesis of comparable enzymatic activity. The dimeric state of TtKAS II is important to create each fatty-acid-binding pocket. Closer examination of KAS structures reveals that compared with other KAS structures in the apo form, the active site of TtKAS II is more accessible because of the ‘open’ conformation of the Phe396 side chain.

  6. Magnetic Control of Convection during Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, N.; Leslie, F. W.

    2004-01-01

    An important component in biotechnology, particularly in the area of protein engineering and rational drug design is the knowledge of the precise three-dimensional molecular structure of proteins. The quality of structural information obtained from X-ray diffraction methods is directly dependent on the degree of perfection of the protein crystals. As a consequence, the growth of high quality macromolecular Crystals for diffraction analyses has been the central focus for bio-chemists, biologists, and bioengineers. Macromolecular crystals are obtained from solutions that contain the crystallizing species in equilibrium with higher aggregates, ions, precipitants, other possible phases of the protein, foreign particles, the walls of container, and a likely host of other impurities. By changing transport modes in general, i.e., reduction of convection and Sedimentation as is achieved in "microgravity", we have been able to dramatically affect the movement and distribution of macromolecules in the fluid, and thus their transport, f o d o n of crystal nuclei, and adsorption to the crystal surface. While a limited number of high quality crystals from space flights have been obtained, as the recent National Research Council (NRC) review of the NASA microgravity crystallization program pointed out, the scientific approach and research in crystallization of proteins has been mainly empirical yielding inconclusive results. We postulate that we can reduce convection in ground-based experiments and we can understand the different aspects of convection control through the use of strong magnetic fields and field gradients. We postulate that limited convection in a magnetic field will provide the environment for the growth of high quality crystals. The approach exploits the variation of fluid magnetic susceptibility with counteracts on for this purpose and the convective damping is realized by appropriately positioning the crystal growth cell so that the magnetic susceptibility

  7. Protein crystallization - is it rocket science?

    PubMed

    DeLucas, L J.

    2001-07-01

    Fueled by initial space shuttle results, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been supporting fundamental studies of macromolecular crystal growth since 1985. The majority of this research is directed at understanding the relationship between experimental variables and important crystal characteristics. The program has resulted in new methods and technology that will benefit the crystallography community's effort to meet the ever-increasing demand for protein structural information. Microgravity crystallization results indicate a potential impact on structural biology's more challenging problems, as soon as long-duration experiments can be performed on the International Space Station. PMID:11445465

  8. Rotating Vessels for Growing Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cottingham, Paul

    2005-01-01

    Rotating vessels have been proposed as means of growing larger, more nearly uniform protein crystals than would otherwise be possible in the presence of normal Earth gravitation. Heretofore, nonrotating vessels have been used. It is difficult to grow high-quality protein crystals in the terrestrial gravitational field because of convection plumes created by the interaction between gravitation and density gradients in protein-solution depletion layers around growing crystals. The density gradients and the associated convection plumes cause the surfaces of growing crystals to be exposed to nonuniform solution densities, thereby causing the crystals to form in irregular shapes. The microgravitational environment of outer space has been utilized to eliminate gravitation-induced convection, but this approach is generally not favorable because of the high cost and limited availability of space flight. The use of a rotating vessel according to the proposal is intended to ameliorate the effects of gravitation and the resultant convection, relative to the corresponding effects in a non-rotating vessel. The rotation would exert an averaging effect over time, distributing the convective force on the depletion layer. Therefore, the depletion layer would be more nearly uniform and, as a result, the growing crystal would be more nearly perfect. The proposal admits of variations (see figure), including the following: The growing crystal could be rotated about its own central axis or an external axis. The crystal-growth vessel could be of any of various shapes, including cylindrical, hemispherical, conical, and combinations thereof. The crystal-growth vessel could be suspended in a viscous fluid in an outer vessel to isolate the growing crystal from both ambient vibrations and vibrations induced by a mechanism that drives the rotation. The rotation could be coupled to the crystal-growth vessel by viscous or magnetic means. The crystal-growth vessel could be supported within the

  9. FNAS/advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1992-01-01

    A scintillation method is presented for determination of the temperature dependence of the solubility, S(T), of proteins in 50-100 micro-l volumes of solution. S(T) data for lysozyme and horse serum albumin were obtained for various combinations of pH and precipitant concentrations. The resulting kinetics and equilibrium information was used for dynamic control, that is the separation of nucleation and growth stages in protein crystallization. Individual lysozyme and horse serum albumin crystals were grown in 15-20 micro-l solution volumes contained in x-ray capillaries.

  10. Protein crystal growth - Growth kinetics for tetragonal lysozyme crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, M. L.; Snyder, R. S.; Naumann, R.

    1986-01-01

    Results are reported from theoretical and experimental studies of the growth rate of lysozyme as a function of diffusion in earth-gravity conditions. The investigations were carried out to form a comparison database for future studies of protein crystal growth in the microgravity environment of space. A diffusion-convection model is presented for predicting crystal growth rates in the presence of solutal concentration gradients. Techniques used to grow and monitor the growth of hen egg white lysozyme are detailed. The model calculations and experiment data are employed to discuss the effects of transport and interfacial kinetics in the growth of the crystals, which gradually diminished the free energy in the growth solution. Density gradient-driven convection, caused by presence of the gravity field, was a limiting factor in the growth rate.

  11. Structural Insight into Amino Group-carrier Protein-mediated Lysine Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Ayako; Tomita, Takeo; Fujimura, Tsutomu; Nishiyama, Chiharu; Kuzuyama, Tomohisa; Nishiyama, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    In the biosynthesis of lysine by Thermus thermophilus, the metabolite α-ketoglutarate is converted to the intermediate α-aminoadipate (AAA), which is protected by the 54-amino acid acidic protein LysW. In this study, we determined the crystal structure of LysZ from T. thermophilus (TtLysZ), an amino acid kinase that catalyzes the second step in the AAA to lysine conversion, which was in a complex with LysW at a resolution of 1.85 Å. A crystal analysis coupled with isothermal titration calorimetry of the TtLysZ mutants for TtLysW revealed tight interactions between LysZ and the globular and C-terminal extension domains of the LysW protein, which were mainly attributed to electrostatic forces. These results provided structural evidence for LysW acting as a protecting molecule for the α-amino group of AAA and also as a carrier protein to guarantee better recognition by biosynthetic enzymes for the efficient biosynthesis of lysine. PMID:25392000

  12. Searching for the Best Protein Crystals: Synchrotron Based Measurements of Protein Crystal Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borgstahl, Gloria; Snell, Edward H.; Bellamy, Henry; Pangborn, Walter; Nelson, Chris; Arvai, Andy; Ohren, Jeff; Pokross, Matt

    1999-01-01

    We are developing X-ray diffraction methods to quantitatively evaluate the quality of protein crystals. The ultimate use for these crystal quality will be to optimize crystal growth and freezing conditions to obtain the best diffraction data. We have combined super fine-phi slicing with highly monochromatic, low divergence synchrotron radiation and the ADSC Quantum 4 CCD detector at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation laboratory beamline 1.5 to accurately measure crystal mosaicity. Comparisons of microgravity versus earth-grown insulin crystals using these methods will be presented.

  13. Protein Crystal Growth Apparatus for Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Dowling, Timothy E. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    Apparatus for growing protein crystals under microgravity environment includes a plurality of protein growth assemblies stacked one above the other within a canister. Each of the protein growth assemblies includes a tray having a number of spaced apart growth chambers recessed below an upper surface. the growth chambers each having an upstanding pedestal and an annular reservoir about the pedestal for receiving a wick and precipitating agents. A well is recessed below the top of each pedestal to define a protein crystal growth receptacle. A flexible membrane is positioned on the upper surface of each tray and a sealing plate is positioned above each membrane, each sealing plate having a number of bumpers corresponding in number and alignment to the pedestals for forcing the membrane selectively against the upper end of the respective pedestal to seal the reservoir and the receptacle when the sealing plate is forced down.

  14. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    SciTech Connect

    Kiefersauer, Reiner Grandl, Brigitte; Krapp, Stephan; Huber, Robert

    2014-05-01

    A novel method and the associated instrumentation for improving crystalline order (higher resolution of X-ray diffraction and reduced mosaicity) of protein crystals by precisely controlled heating is demonstrated. Crystal transformation is optically controlled by a video system. A method and the design of instrumentation, and its preliminary practical realisation, including test experiments, with the object of inducing phase changes of biomolecular crystals by controlled dehydration through heating with infrared (IR) light are described. The aim is to generate and select crystalline phases through transformation in the solid state which have improved order (higher resolution in X-ray diffraction experiments) and reduced mosaic spread (more uniformly aligned mosaic blocks) for diffraction data collection and analysis. The crystal is heated by pulsed and/or constant IR laser irradiation. Loss of crystal water following heating and its reabsorption through equilibration with the environment is measured optically by a video system. Heating proved superior to traditional controlled dehydration by humidity change for the test cases CODH (carbon monoxide dehydrogenase) and CLK2 (a protein kinase). Heating with IR light is experimentally simple and offers an exploration of a much broader parameter space than the traditional method, as it allows the option of varying the rate of phase changes through modification of the IR pulse strength, width and repeat frequency. It impacts the crystal instantaneously, isotropically and homogeneously, and is therefore expected to cause less mechanical stress.

  15. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Human Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Human Serum Albumin. Contributes to many transport and regulatory processes and has multifunctional binding properties which range from various metals, to fatty acids, hormones, and a wide spectrum of therapeutic drugs. The most abundant protein of the circulatory system. It binds and transports an incredible variety of biological and pharmaceutical ligands throughout the blood stream. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Larry DeLucas.

  16. Overexpression, Isolation, and Crystallization of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skelly, Jane V.; Madden, C. Bernadette

    Rapid developments in recombinant technology have made it possible to overproduce selected proteins of specific interest to the levels required for structural analysis by X-ray crystallography. High-level gene expression has facilitated the purification of many proteins that are normally only expressed at low concentrations, as well as those that have proven difficult to purify to homogeneity from natural sources. Furthermore, advances in oligonucleotide site-directed mutagenesis have enabled proteins to be engineered so as to possess certain features that may confer stability or assist in then isolation. There are several examples of proteins that, despite rigorous purification from their natural source, have defied crystallization attempts, e.g., human growth hormone, but have been successfully crystallized from recombinant sources (1). The lack of posttranslational processing in bacterial expressed proteins can often be an advantage to the crystallographer where microheterogeneity presents a problem. Indeed, certain features or residues of a protein that are believed to impede crystal formation by preventing a close-packing arrangement may be successfully deleted by genetic manipulation without destroying its essential functionality (2).

  17. Sigmoid kinetics of protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanev, Christo N.; Tonchev, Vesselin D.

    2015-10-01

    A non-linear differential equation expressing the new phase nucleation rate in the different steps of the process (non-stationary and stationary nucleation and in the plateau region) is derived from basic principles of the nucleation theory. It is shown that one and the same sigmoid (logistic) function describes both nucleation scenarios: the one according to the classical theory, and the other according to the modern two-stage mechanism of protein crystal formation. Comparison to experimental data on both insulin crystal nucleation kinetics and on bovine β-lactoglobulin crystallization indicates a good agreement with the sigmoidal prediction. Experimental data for electrochemical nucleation and glass crystallization obey the same sigmoid time dependence, and suggest universality of this nucleation kinetics law.

  18. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

    The long-term stability of the interferometric setup for the monitoring of protein morphologies has been improved. Growth or dissolution of a crystal on a 100 A scale can now be clearly distinguished from dimensional changes occurring within the optical path of the interferometer. This capability of simultaneously monitoring the local interfacial displacement at several widely-spaced positions on the crystal surface with high local depth resolution, has already yielded novel results. We found with lysozyme that (1) the normal growth rate is oscillatory, and (2) the mean growth step density is greater at the periphery of a facet than in its center. The repartitioning of Na(+) and Cl(-) ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied for a wide range of crystallization conditions. A nucleation-growth-repartitioning model was developed to interpret the large body of data in a unified way. The results strongly suggests that (1) the ion to lysozyme ratio in the crystal depends mostly on kinetic rather than crystallographic parameters, and (2) lysozyme crystals possess a salt-rich core with a diameter on the order of 10 microns. The computational model for diffusive-convective transport in protein crystallization (see the First Report) has been applied to a realistic growth cell geometry, taking into account the findings of the above repartitioning studies. These results show that some elements of a moving boundary problem must be incorporated into the model in order to obtain a more realistic description. Our experimental setup for light scattering investigations of aggregation and nucleation in protein solutions has been extensively tested. Scattering intensity measurements with a true Rayleigh scatterer produced systematically increased forward scattering, indicating problems with glare. These have been resolved. Preliminary measurements with supersaturated lysozyme solutions revealed that the scatterers grow with time. Work has begun on a computer program

  19. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lyase. Target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast. It regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator for STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  20. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lysase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lysase. Target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast. It regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  1. Convective instability in protein crystal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lima, D.; de Wit, A.

    2004-08-01

    The conditions for the onset of convection during protein crystalization from a solution are studied theoretically on the basis of diffusion-convection evolution equations for the concentrations coupled to the Navier-Stokes equation describing the flow velocity. We consider that the density of the solution depends on the concentration of two species, namely, a protein and a precipitating agent, a salt. While the protein is crystallized at the crystal/solution interface, the salt is rejected, and these mechanisms are described by means of boundary conditions for the interface. We find the base profiles for both protein and salt concentrations and perform a linear stability analysis of this basic state with regard to buoyancy induced perturbations. This gives information on the critical diameter of capillaries above which convection may be observed, as well as on the influence of the speed of growth V of the crystal interface on the stability of the system. Numerical integration of the model shows good agreement with the predictions of the linear stability analysis.

  2. Structures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) and a C164Q mutant provide templates for antibacterial drug discovery and identify a buried potassium ion and a ligand-binding site that is an artefact of the crystal form

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Bernhard; Lecker, Laura S. M.; Zoltner, Martin; Jaenicke, Elmar; Schnell, Robert; Hunter, William N.; Brenk, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial infections remain a serious health concern, in particular causing life-threatening infections of hospitalized and immunocompromised patients. The situation is exacerbated by the rise in antibacterial drug resistance, and new treatments are urgently sought. In this endeavour, accurate structures of molecular targets can support early-stage drug discovery. Here, crystal structures, in three distinct forms, of recombinant Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) are presented. This enzyme, which is involved in fatty-acid biosynthesis, has been validated by genetic and chemical means as an antibiotic target in Gram-positive bacteria and represents a potential target in Gram-negative bacteria. The structures of apo FabF, of a C164Q mutant in which the binding site is altered to resemble the substrate-bound state and of a complex with 3-(benzoylamino)-2-hydroxybenzoic acid are reported. This compound mimics aspects of a known natural product inhibitor, platensimycin, and surprisingly was observed binding outside the active site, interacting with a symmetry-related molecule. An unusual feature is a completely buried potassium-binding site that was identified in all three structures. Comparisons suggest that this may represent a conserved structural feature of FabF relevant to fold stability. The new structures provide templates for structure-based ligand design and, together with the protocols and reagents, may underpin a target-based drug-discovery project for urgently needed antibacterials. PMID:26249693

  3. Structures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) and a C164Q mutant provide templates for antibacterial drug discovery and identify a buried potassium ion and a ligand-binding site that is an artefact of the crystal form

    SciTech Connect

    Baum, Bernhard; Lecker, Laura S. M.; Zoltner, Martin; Jaenicke, Elmar; Schnell, Robert; Hunter, William N.; Brenk, Ruth

    2015-07-28

    Three crystal structures of recombinant P. aeruginosa FabF are reported: the apoenzyme, an active-site mutant and a complex with a fragment of a natural product inhibitor. The characterization provides reagents and new information to support antibacterial drug discovery. Bacterial infections remain a serious health concern, in particular causing life-threatening infections of hospitalized and immunocompromised patients. The situation is exacerbated by the rise in antibacterial drug resistance, and new treatments are urgently sought. In this endeavour, accurate structures of molecular targets can support early-stage drug discovery. Here, crystal structures, in three distinct forms, of recombinant Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) are presented. This enzyme, which is involved in fatty-acid biosynthesis, has been validated by genetic and chemical means as an antibiotic target in Gram-positive bacteria and represents a potential target in Gram-negative bacteria. The structures of apo FabF, of a C164Q mutant in which the binding site is altered to resemble the substrate-bound state and of a complex with 3-(benzoylamino)-2-hydroxybenzoic acid are reported. This compound mimics aspects of a known natural product inhibitor, platensimycin, and surprisingly was observed binding outside the active site, interacting with a symmetry-related molecule. An unusual feature is a completely buried potassium-binding site that was identified in all three structures. Comparisons suggest that this may represent a conserved structural feature of FabF relevant to fold stability. The new structures provide templates for structure-based ligand design and, together with the protocols and reagents, may underpin a target-based drug-discovery project for urgently needed antibacterials.

  4. Inhibition of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase InhA by arylamides

    PubMed Central

    He, Xin; Alian, Akram; Ortiz de Montellano, Paul R.

    2007-01-01

    InhA, the enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is one of the key enzymes involved in the type II fatty acid biosynthesis pathway of M. tuberculosis. We report here the discovery, through high-throughput screening, of a series of arylamides as a novel class of potent InhA inhibitors. These direct InhA inhibitors require no mycobacterial enzymatic activation and thus circumvent the resistance mechanism to antitubercular prodrugs such as INH and ETA that is most commonly observed in drug-resistant clinical isolates. The crystal structure of InhA complexed with one representative inhibitor reveals the binding mode of the inhibitor within the InhA active site. Further optimization through a microtiter synthesis strategy followed by in situ activity screening led to the discovery of a potent InhA inhibitor with in vitro IC50 = 90 nM, representing a 34-fold potency improvement over the lead compound. PMID:17723305

  5. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

    A high-resolution microscopic interferometric setup for the monitoring of protein morphologies has been developed. Growth or dissolution of a crystal can be resolved with a long-term depth resolution of 200 A and a lateral resolution of 2 microns. This capability of simultaneously monitoring the interfacial displacement with high local depth resolution has yielded several novel results. We have found with lysozyme that (1) the normal growth rate is oscillatory, and (2) depending on the impurity content of the solution, the growth step density is either greater or lower at the periphery of a facet than in its center. The repartitioning of Na plus and Cl minus ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied for a wide range of crystallization conditions. A nucleation-growth-repartitioning model was developed, to interpret the large body of data in unified way. The results strongly suggest that (1) the ion to lysozyne ratio in the crystal depends mostly on kinetic rather than crystallographic parameters, and (2) lysozyme crystals possess a salt-rich core with a diameter electron microscopy results appear to confirm this finding, which could have far-reaching consequences for x-ray diffraction studies. A computational model for diffusive-convective transport in protein crystallization has been applied to a realistic growth cell geometry, taking into account the findings of the above repartitioning studies and our kinetics data for the growth of lysozyme. The results show that even in the small cell employed, protein concentration nonuniformities and gravity-driven solutal convection can be significant. The calculated convection velocities are of the same order to magnitude as those found in earlier experiments. As expected, convective transport, i.e., at Og, lysozyme crystal growth remains kinetically limited. The salt distribution in the crystal is predicted to be non-uniform at both 1g and 0g, as a consequence of protein depletion in the solution. Static and

  6. Mixing it up for Protein Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Carl; Sommer, Morten; Berger, James; Quake, Stephen

    2005-03-01

    In the post-genomic era, X-ray crystallography has emerged as the workhorse of large-scale structural biology initiatives that seek to understand protein function and interaction at the atomic scale. Despite impressive technological advances in X-ray sources, phasing techniques, and computing power, the determination of protein structure continues to be severely hampered by the difficulties in obtaining high-quality protein crystals. Emergent technologies utilizing microfluidics now have the potential to solve these problems on several levels. We will present two microfluidic devices that have been shown to dramatically improve protein crystallization. The first is a formulation device which allows for the rapid combinatorial mixing of reagents to systematically explore protein solubility behavior. A priori solubility mapping allows for the rational design of optimal crystallization screens that are tailored to a specific target. A second screening device allows for massively parallel sample processing while exploiting the properties of mass transport manifest at the micron scale to ensure slow and efficient mixing kinetics that are difficult to achieve in macroscopic reactors.

  7. Convective diffusion in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baird, J. K.; Meehan, E. J., Jr.; Xidis, A. L.; Howard, S. B.

    1986-01-01

    A protein crystal modeled as a flat plate suspended in the parent solution, with the normal to the largest face perpendicular to gravity and the protein concentration in the solution adjacent to the plate taken to be the equilibrium solubility, is studied. The Navier-Stokes equation and the equation for convective diffusion in the boundary layer next to the plate are solved to calculate the flow velocity and the protein mass flux. The local rate of growth of the plate is shown to vary significantly with depth due to the convection. For an aqueous solution of lysozyme at a concentration of 40 mg/ml, the boundary layer at the top of a 1-mm-high crystal has a thickness of 80 microns at 1 g, and 2570 microns at 10 to the -6th g.

  8. Mycobacterium tuberculosis acyl carrier protein synthase adopts two different pH-dependent structural conformations

    SciTech Connect

    Gokulan, Kuppan; Aggarwal, Anup; Shipman, Lance; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Sacchettini, James C.

    2011-07-01

    Bacterial acyl carrier protein synthase plays an essential role in the synthesis of fatty acids, nonribosomal peptides and polyketides. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, AcpS or group I phosphopentatheine transferase exhibits two different structural conformations depending upon the pH. The crystal structures of acyl carrier protein synthase (AcpS) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and Corynebacterium ammoniagenes determined at pH 5.3 and pH 6.5, respectively, are reported. Comparison of the Mtb apo-AcpS structure with the recently reported structure of the Mtb AcpS–ADP complex revealed that AcpS adopts two different conformations: the orthorhombic and trigonal space-group structures show structural differences in the α2 helix and in the conformation of the α3–α4 connecting loop, which is in a closed conformation. The apo-AcpS structure shows electron density for the entire model and was obtained at lower pH values (4.4–6.0). In contrast, at a higher pH value (6.5) AcpS undergoes significant conformational changes, resulting in disordered regions that show no electron density in the AcpS model. The solved structures also reveal that C. ammoniagenes AcpS undergoes structural rearrangement in two regions, similar to the recently reported Mtb AcpS–ADP complex structure. In vitro reconstitution experiments show that AcpS has a higher post-translational modification activity between pH 4.4 and 6.0 than at pH values above 6.5, where the activity drops owing to the change in conformation. The results show that apo-AcpS and AcpS–ADP adopt different conformations depending upon the pH conditions of the crystallization solution.

  9. Protein crystallization image classification with elastic net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Jeffrey; Collins, John; Weldetsion, Mehari; Newland, Oliver; Chiang, Eric; Guerrero, Steve; Okada, Kazunori

    2014-03-01

    Protein crystallization plays a crucial role in pharmaceutical research by supporting the investigation of a protein's molecular structure through X-ray diffraction of its crystal. Due to the rare occurrence of crystals, images must be manually inspected, a laborious process. We develop a solution incorporating a regularized, logistic regression model for automatically evaluating these images. Standard image features, such as shape context, Gabor filters and Fourier transforms, are first extracted to represent the heterogeneous appearance of our images. Then the proposed solution utilizes Elastic Net to select relevant features. Its L1-regularization mitigates the effects of our large dataset, and its L2- regularization ensures proper operation when the feature number exceeds the sample number. A two-tier cascade classifier based on naïve Bayes and random forest algorithms categorized the images. In order to validate the proposed method, we experimentally compare it with naïve Bayes, linear discriminant analysis, random forest, and their two-tier cascade classifiers, by 10-fold cross validation. Our experimental results demonstrate a 3-category accuracy of 74%, outperforming other models. In addition, Elastic Net better reduces the false negatives responsible for a high, domain specific risk. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to apply Elastic Net to classifying protein crystallization images. Performance measured on a large pharmaceutical dataset also fared well in comparison with those presented in the previous studies, while the reduction of the high-risk false negatives is promising.

  10. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1988-01-01

    The solubility and growth of the protein canavalin, and the application of the schlieren technique to study fluid flow in protein crystal growth systems were investigated. These studies have resulted in the proposal of a model to describe protein crystal growth and the preliminary plans for a long-term space flight experiment. Canavalin, which may be crystallized from a basic solution by the addition of hydrogen (H+) ions, was shown to have normal solubility characteristics over the range of temperatures (5 to 25 C) and pH (5 to 7.5) studies. The solubility data combined with growth rate data gathered from the seeded growth of canavalin crystals indicated that the growth rate limiting step is a screw dislocation mechanism. A schlieren apparatus was constructed and flow patterns were observed in Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate), lysozyme, and canavalin. The critical parameters were identified as the change in density with concentration (dp/dc) and the change in index of refraction with concentration (dn/dc). Some of these values were measured for the materials listed. The data for lyrozyme showed non-linearities in plots of optical properties and density vs. concentration. In conjunction with with W. A. Tiller, a model based on colloid stability theory was proposed to describe protein crystallization. The model was used to explain observations made by ourselves and others. The results of this research has lead to the development for a preliminary design for a long-term, low-g experiment. The proposed apparatus is univeral and capable of operation under microprocessor control.

  11. Crystallization of proteins from crude bovine rod outer segments.

    PubMed

    Baker, Bo Y; Gulati, Sahil; Shi, Wuxian; Wang, Benlian; Stewart, Phoebe L; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Obtaining protein crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction studies comprises the greatest challenge in the determination of protein crystal structures, especially for membrane proteins and protein complexes. Although high purity has been broadly accepted as one of the most significant requirements for protein crystallization, a recent study of the Escherichia coli proteome showed that many proteins have an inherent propensity to crystallize and do not require a highly homogeneous sample (Totir et al., 2012). As exemplified by RPE65 (Kiser, Golczak, Lodowski, Chance, & Palczewski, 2009), there also are cases of mammalian proteins crystallized from less purified samples. To test whether this phenomenon can be applied more broadly to the study of proteins from higher organisms, we investigated the protein crystallization profile of bovine rod outer segment (ROS) crude extracts. Interestingly, multiple protein crystals readily formed from such extracts, some of them diffracting to high resolution that allowed structural determination. A total of seven proteins were crystallized, one of which was a membrane protein. Successful crystallization of proteins from heterogeneous ROS extracts demonstrates that many mammalian proteins also have an intrinsic propensity to crystallize from complex biological mixtures. By providing an alternative approach to heterologous expression to achieve crystallization, this strategy could be useful for proteins and complexes that are difficult to purify or obtain by recombinant techniques. PMID:25950977

  12. Crystallization of Proteins from Crude Bovine Rod Outer Segments☆

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Bo Y.; Gulati, Sahil; Shi, Wuxian; Wang, Benlian; Stewart, Phoebe L.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Obtaining protein crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction studies comprises the greatest challenge in the determination of protein crystal structures, especially for membrane proteins and protein complexes. Although high purity has been broadly accepted as one of the most significant requirements for protein crystallization, a recent study of the Escherichia coli proteome showed that many proteins have an inherent propensity to crystallize and do not require a highly homogeneous sample (Totir et al., 2012). As exemplified by RPE65 (Kiser, Golczak, Lodowski, Chance, & Palczewski, 2009), there also are cases of mammalian proteins crystallized from less purified samples. To test whether this phenomenon can be applied more broadly to the study of proteins from higher organisms, we investigated the protein crystallization profile of bovine rod outer segment (ROS) crude extracts. Interestingly, multiple protein crystals readily formed from such extracts, some of them diffracting to high resolution that allowed structural determination. A total of seven proteins were crystallized, one of which was a membrane protein. Successful crystallization of proteins from heterogeneous ROS extracts demonstrates that many mammalian proteins also have an intrinsic propensity to crystallize from complex biological mixtures. By providing an alternative approach to heterologous expression to achieve crystallization, this strategy could be useful for proteins and complexes that are difficult to purify or obtain by recombinant techniques. PMID:25950977

  13. The chain-flipping mechanism of ACP (acyl carrier protein)-dependent enzymes appears universal.

    PubMed

    Cronan, John E

    2014-06-01

    ACPs (acyl carrier proteins) play essential roles in the synthesis of fatty acids, polyketides and non-ribosomal polypeptides. ACP function requires the modification of the protein by attachment of 4'-phosphopantetheine to a conserved serine residue. The phosphopantetheine thiol acts to tether the starting materials and intermediates as their thioesters. ACPs are small highly soluble proteins composed of four α-helices. The helices form a bundle that acts as a hydrophobic sleeve that sequesters the acyl chains and activated thioesters from solvent. However, in the synthesis of fatty acids and complex lipids the enzymes of the pathway must access the thioester and the proximal carbon atoms in order to perform the needed chemistry. How such access is provided without exposure of the acyl chains to solvent has been a longstanding question due to the lack of acyl-ACP-enzyme complexes, a situation generally attributed to the brevity of the interactions of acyl-ACPs with their cognate enzymes. As discussed in the present review the access question has now been answered by four recent crystal structures, each of which shows that the entire acyl chain plus the 4'-phosphopantetheine prosthetic group partitions from the ACP hydrophobic sleeve into a hydrophobic pocket or groove of the enzyme protein, a process termed chain flipping. PMID:24825445

  14. An investigation into the role of polymeric carriers on crystal growth within amorphous solid dispersion systems.

    PubMed

    Tian, Yiwei; Jones, David S; Andrews, Gavin P

    2015-04-01

    Using phase diagrams derived from Flory-Huggins theory, we defined the thermodynamic state of amorphous felodipine within three different polymeric carriers. Variation in the solubility and miscibility of felodipine within different polymeric materials (using F-H theory) has been identified and used to select the most suitable polymeric carriers for the production of amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersions. With this information, amorphous felodipine solid dispersions were manufactured using three different polymeric materials (HPMCAS-HF, Soluplus, and PVPK15) at predefined drug loadings, and the crystal growth rates of felodipine from these solid dispersions were investigated. Crystallization of amorphous felodipine was studied using Raman spectral imaging and polarized light microscopy. Using this data, we examined the correlation among several characteristics of solid dispersions to the crystal growth rate of felodipine. An exponential relationship was found to exist between drug loading and crystal growth rate. Moreover, crystal growth within all selected amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersion systems were viscosity dependent (η(-ξ)). The exponent, ξ, was estimated to be 1.36 at a temperature of 80 °C. Values of ξ exceeding 1 may indicate strong viscosity dependent crystal growth in the amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersion systems. We argue that the elevated exponent value (ξ > 1) is a result of drug-polymer mixing which leads to a less fragile amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersion system. All systems investigated displayed an upper critical solution temperature, and the solid-liquid boundary was always higher than the spinodal decomposition curve. Furthermore, for PVP-FD amorphous dispersions at drug loadings exceeding 0.6 volume ratio, the mechanism of phase separation within the metastable zone was found to be driven by nucleation and growth rather than liquid-liquid separation. PMID:25692314

  15. An automated protein crystal growth facility on the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrmann, Melody

    1988-01-01

    The need is addressed for an automated Protein Crystal Growth experiment on the Space Station and how robotics will be integrated into the system design. This automated laboratory system will enable several hundred protein crystals to grow simultaneously in microgravity and will allow the major variables in protein crystal growth to be monitored and controlled during the experiment. Growing good quality crystals is important in determining the complete structure of the protein by X-ray diffraction. This information is useful in the research and development of medicines and other important medical and biotechnological products. Previous Protein Crystal Growth experiments indicate that the microgravity environment of space allows larger crystals of higher quality to be grown as compared to the same crystals grown on the ground. It is therefore important to have a laboratory in space where protein crystals can be grown under carefully controlled conditions so that a crystal type can be reproduced as needed.

  16. X-ray Microscopic Characterization of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.; Holmes, A.; Thomas, B.R.; Chernov, a. A.; Chu, Y. S.; Lai, B.

    2004-01-01

    The microscopic mapping of the variation in degree of perfection and in type of defects in entire protein crystals by x-rays may well be a prerequisite for better understanding causes of lattice imperfections, the growth history, and properties of protein crystals. However, x-ray microscopic characterization of bulk protein crystals, in the as-grown state, is frequently more challenging than that of small molecular crystals due to the experimental difficulties arising largely from the unique features possessed by protein crystals. In this presentation, we will illustrate ssme recent activities in employing coherence-based phase contrast x-ray imaging and high-angular-resolution diffraction techniques for mapping microdefects and the degree of perfection of protein crystals, and demonstrate a correlation between crystal perfection, diffraction phenomena., and crystallization conditions. The observed features and phenomena will be discussed in context to gain insight into the nature of defects, nucleation and growth, and the properties of protein crystals.

  17. Structural characterization and comparison of three acyl-carrier-protein synthases from pathogenic bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Halavaty, Andrei S.; Kim, Youngchang; Minasov, George; Shuvalova, Ludmilla; Dubrovska, Ievgeniia; Winsor, James; Zhou, Min; Onopriyenko, Olena; Skarina, Tatiana; Papazisi, Leka; Kwon, Keehwan; Peterson, Scott N.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Savchenko, Alexei; Anderson, Wayne F.

    2012-10-01

    The structural characterization of acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) from three different pathogenic microorganisms is reported. One interesting finding of the present work is a crystal artifact related to the activity of the enzyme, which fortuitously represents an opportunity for a strategy to design a potential inhibitor of a pathogenic AcpS. Some bacterial type II fatty-acid synthesis (FAS II) enzymes have been shown to be important candidates for drug discovery. The scientific and medical quest for new FAS II protein targets continues to stimulate research in this field. One of the possible additional candidates is the acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) enzyme. Its holo form post-translationally modifies the apo form of an acyl carrier protein (ACP), which assures the constant delivery of thioester intermediates to the discrete enzymes of FAS II. At the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID), AcpSs from Staphylococcus aureus (AcpS{sub SA}), Vibrio cholerae (AcpS{sub VC}) and Bacillus anthracis (AcpS{sub BA}) have been structurally characterized in their apo, holo and product-bound forms, respectively. The structure of AcpS{sub BA} is emphasized because of the two 3′, 5′-adenosine diphosphate (3′, 5′-ADP) product molecules that are found in each of the three coenzyme A (CoA) binding sites of the trimeric protein. One 3′, 5′-ADP is bound as the 3′, 5′-ADP part of CoA in the known structures of the CoA–AcpS and 3′, 5′-ADP–AcpS binary complexes. The position of the second 3′, 5′-ADP has never been described before. It is in close proximity to the first 3′, 5′-ADP and the ACP-binding site. The coordination of two ADPs in AcpS{sub BA} may possibly be exploited for the design of AcpS inhibitors that can block binding of both CoA and ACP.

  18. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1987-01-01

    The solubility and growth mechanism of canavalin were studied, and the applicability of the Schlieren technique to protein crystal growth was investigated. Canavalin which may be crystallized from a basic solution by the addition of hydrogen (H+) ions was shown to have normal solubility characteristics over the range of temperatures (5 to 25 C) and pH (5 to 7.5) studied. The solubility data combined with growth rate data gathered from the seeded growth of canavalin crystals indicated that the growth mechanism at high supersaturation ratios (>1.28) is screw dislocation like. A Schlieren apparatus was constructed and flow patterns were observed in Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate), lysozyme, and canavalin. The critical parameters were identified as the change in density with concentration (dp/dc) and the change in index of refraction with concentration (dn/dc). Some of these values were measured for the materials listed.

  19. Bacillus thuringiensis and Its Pesticidal Crystal Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Schnepf, E.; Crickmore, N.; Van Rie, J.; Lereclus, D.; Baum, J.; Feitelson, J.; Zeigler, D. R.; Dean, D. H.

    1998-01-01

    During the past decade the pesticidal bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis has been the subject of intensive research. These efforts have yielded considerable data about the complex relationships between the structure, mechanism of action, and genetics of the organism’s pesticidal crystal proteins, and a coherent picture of these relationships is beginning to emerge. Other studies have focused on the ecological role of the B. thuringiensis crystal proteins, their performance in agricultural and other natural settings, and the evolution of resistance mechanisms in target pests. Armed with this knowledge base and with the tools of modern biotechnology, researchers are now reporting promising results in engineering more-useful toxins and formulations, in creating transgenic plants that express pesticidal activity, and in constructing integrated management strategies to insure that these products are utilized with maximum efficiency and benefit. PMID:9729609

  20. A glass polyalkenoate cement carrier for bone morphogenetic proteins.

    PubMed

    Alhalawani, Adel M F; Rodriguez, Omar; Curran, Declan J; Co, Russell; Kieran, Sean; Arshad, Saad; Keenan, Timothy J; Wren, Anthony W; Crasto, Gazelle; Peel, Sean A F; Towler, Mark R

    2015-03-01

    This work considers a glass polyalkenoate cement (GPC)-based carrier for the effective delivery of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) at an implantation site. A 0.12 CaO-0.04 SrO-0.36 ZnO-0.48 SiO2 based glass and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA, Mw 213,000) were employed for the fabrication of the GPC. The media used for the water source in the GPC reaction was altered to produce a series of GPCs. The GPC liquid media was either 100 % distilled water with additions of albumin at 0, 2, 5 and 8 wt% of the glass content, 100 % formulation buffer (IFB), and 100 % BMP (150 µg rhBMP-2/ml IFB). Rheological properties, compressive strength, ion release profiles and BMP release were evaluated. Working times (Tw) of the formulated GPCs significantly increased with the addition of 2 % albumin and remained constant with further increases in albumin content or IFB solutions. Setting time (Ts) experienced an increase with 2 and 5 % albumin content, but a decrease with 8 % albumin. Changing the liquid source to IFB containing 5 % albumin had no significant effect on Ts compared to the 8 % albumin-containing BT101. Replacing the albumin with IFB/BMP-2 did not significantly affect Tw. However, Ts increased for the BT101_BMP-2 containing GPCs, compared to all other samples. The compressive strength evaluated 1 day post cement mixing was not affected significantly by the incorporation of BMPs, but the ion release did increase from the cements, particularly for Zn and Sr. The GPCs released BMP after the first day, which decreased in content during the following 6 days. This study has proven that BMPs can be immobilized into GPCs and may result in novel materials for clinical applications. PMID:25773232

  1. Crystallization of G Protein-Coupled Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Salom, David; Padayatti, Pius S.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Oligomerization is one of several mechanisms that can regulate the activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but little is known about the structure of GPCR oligomers. Crystallography and NMR are the only methods able to reveal the details of receptor–receptor interactions at an atomic level, and several GPCR homodimers already have been described from crystal structures. Two clusters of symmetric interfaces have been identified from these structures that concur with biochemical data, one involving helices I, II, and VIII and the other formed mainly by helices V and VI. In this chapter, we describe the protocols used in our laboratory for the crystallization of rhodopsin and the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR). For bovine rhodopsin, we developed a new purification strategy including a (NH4)2SO4-induced phase separation that proved essential to obtain crystals of photoactivated rhodopsin containing parallel dimers. Crystallization of native bovine rhodopsin was achieved by the classic vapor-diffusion technique. For β2-AR, we developed a purification strategy based on previously published protocols employing a lipidic cubic phase to obtain diffracting crystals of a β2-AR/T4-lysozyme chimera bound to the antagonist carazolol. PMID:24143992

  2. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon. Stimulates the body's immune system and is used clinically in the treatment of cancer. Potential as an anti-tumor agent against solid tumors as well as leukemia's and lymphomas. It has additional utility as an anti-ineffective agent, including antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic activities. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  3. Optical monitoring of protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudry, A.

    1988-01-01

    The possibility of using various optical techniques for detecting the onset of nucleation in protein crystal growth was investigated. Direct microscopy, general metrologic techniques, light scattering, ultraviolet absorption, and interferometry are addressed along with techniques for determining pH value. The necessity for collecting basic data on the optical properties of the growth solution as a prerequisite to the evaluation of monitoring techniques is pointed out.

  4. When proteins are completely hydrated in crystals.

    PubMed

    Carugo, Oliviero

    2016-08-01

    In the crystalline state, protein surface patches that do not form crystal packing contacts are exposed to the solvent and one or more layers of hydration water molecules can be observed. It is well known that these water molecules cannot be observed at very low resolution, when the scarcity of experimental information precludes the observation of several parts of the protein molecule, like for example side-chains at the protein surface. On the contrary, more details are observable at high resolution. Here it is shown that it is necessary to reach a resolution of about 1.5-1.6Å to observe a continuous hydration layer at the protein surface. This contrasts previous estimations, which were more tolerant and according to which a resolution of 2.5Å was sufficient to describe at the atomic level the structure of the hydration layer. These results should prove useful in guiding a more rigorous selection of structural data to study protein hydration and in interpreting new crystal structures. PMID:27112977

  5. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1995-01-01

    During the fourth semi-annual period under this grant we have pursued the following activities: (1) crystal growth morphology and kinetics studies with tetragonal lysozyme. These clearly revealed the influence of higher molecular weight protein impurities on interface shape; (2) characterization of the purity and further purification of lysozyme solutions. These efforts have, for the first time, resulted in lysozyme free of higher molecular weight components; (3) continuation of the salt repartitioning studies with Seikagaku lysozyme, which has a lower protein impurity content that Sigma stock. These efforts confirmed our earlier findings of higher salt contents in smaller crystals. However, less salt is in corporated into the crystals grown from Seikagaku stock. This strongly suggests a dependence of salt repartitioning on the concentration of protein impurities in lysozyme. To test this hypothesis, repartitioning studies with the high purity lysozyme prepared in-house will be begun shortly; (4) numerical modelling of the interaction between bulk transport and interface kinetics. These simulations have produced interface shapes which are in good agreement with out experimental observations; and (5) light scattering studies on under- and supersaturated lysozyme solutions. A consistent interpretation of the static and dynamic data leaves little doubt that pre-nucleation clusters, claimed to exist even in undersaturated solutions, are not present. The article: 'Growth morphology response to nutrient and impurity nonuniformities' is attached.

  6. The plug-based nanovolume Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS)

    SciTech Connect

    Gerdts, Cory J.; Elliott, Mark; Lovell, Scott; Mixon, Mark B.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Staker, Bart L.; Nollert, Peter; Stewart, Lance

    2008-11-01

    The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) is a new protein-crystallization technology used to generate nanolitre-sized crystallization experiments for crystal screening and optimization. Using the MPCS, diffraction-ready crystals were grown in the plastic MPCS CrystalCard and were used to solve the structure of methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase. The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) embodies a new semi-automated plug-based crystallization technology which enables nanolitre-volume screening of crystallization conditions in a plasticware format that allows crystals to be easily removed for traditional cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction data collection. Protein crystals grown in these plastic devices can be directly subjected to in situ X-ray diffraction studies. The MPCS integrates the formulation of crystallization cocktails with the preparation of the crystallization experiments. Within microfluidic Teflon tubing or the microfluidic circuitry of a plastic CrystalCard, ∼10–20 nl volume droplets are generated, each representing a microbatch-style crystallization experiment with a different chemical composition. The entire protein sample is utilized in crystallization experiments. Sparse-matrix screening and chemical gradient screening can be combined in one comprehensive ‘hybrid’ crystallization trial. The technology lends itself well to optimization by high-granularity gradient screening using optimization reagents such as precipitation agents, ligands or cryoprotectants.

  7. Antibody response by cultured spleen fragments from carrier-primed mice to hapten-protein conjugates.

    PubMed

    Hurme, M; Nakamura, I; Kaartinen, M; Mäkelä, O

    1975-01-01

    Hapten-protein conjugates stimulated very poor anti-hapten responses in mouse spleen fragment cultures from unimmunized mice, whereas hapten coupled to type III pneumococcal polysaccharide or polylysine induced good responses. When the donors of the fragments were primed with the carrier protein, hapten-protein conjugates induced a strong anti-hapten response. Both the true primary and the carrier-primed response in vitro consisted mainly of IgA antibodies of 9-13S. In carrier-primed responses also IgM was produced at the beginning and IgG at the end of those responses. PMID:1080285

  8. Spiro-OMeTAD single crystals: Remarkably enhanced charge-carrier transport via mesoscale ordering.

    PubMed

    Shi, Dong; Qin, Xiang; Li, Yuan; He, Yao; Zhong, Cheng; Pan, Jun; Dong, Huanli; Xu, Wei; Li, Tao; Hu, Wenping; Brédas, Jean-Luc; Bakr, Osman M

    2016-04-01

    We report the crystal structure and hole-transport mechanism in spiro-OMeTAD [2,2',7,7'-tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenyl-amine)9,9'-spirobifluorene], the dominant hole-transporting material in perovskite and solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells. Despite spiro-OMeTAD's paramount role in such devices, its crystal structure was unknown because of highly disordered solution-processed films; the hole-transport pathways remained ill-defined and the charge carrier mobilities were low, posing a major bottleneck for advancing cell efficiencies. We devised an antisolvent crystallization strategy to grow single crystals of spiro-OMeTAD, which allowed us to experimentally elucidate its molecular packing and transport properties. Electronic structure calculations enabled us to map spiro-OMeTAD's intermolecular charge-hopping pathways. Promisingly, single-crystal mobilities were found to exceed their thin-film counterparts by three orders of magnitude. Our findings underscore mesoscale ordering as a key strategy to achieving breakthroughs in hole-transport material engineering of solar cells. PMID:27152342

  9. Spiro-OMeTAD single crystals: Remarkably enhanced charge-carrier transport via mesoscale ordering

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Dong; Qin, Xiang; Li, Yuan; He, Yao; Zhong, Cheng; Pan, Jun; Dong, Huanli; Xu, Wei; Li, Tao; Hu, Wenping; Brédas, Jean-Luc; Bakr, Osman M.

    2016-01-01

    We report the crystal structure and hole-transport mechanism in spiro-OMeTAD [2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenyl-amine)9,9′-spirobifluorene], the dominant hole-transporting material in perovskite and solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells. Despite spiro-OMeTAD’s paramount role in such devices, its crystal structure was unknown because of highly disordered solution-processed films; the hole-transport pathways remained ill-defined and the charge carrier mobilities were low, posing a major bottleneck for advancing cell efficiencies. We devised an antisolvent crystallization strategy to grow single crystals of spiro-OMeTAD, which allowed us to experimentally elucidate its molecular packing and transport properties. Electronic structure calculations enabled us to map spiro-OMeTAD’s intermolecular charge-hopping pathways. Promisingly, single-crystal mobilities were found to exceed their thin-film counterparts by three orders of magnitude. Our findings underscore mesoscale ordering as a key strategy to achieving breakthroughs in hole-transport material engineering of solar cells. PMID:27152342

  10. Structure of 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier protein) synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8

    PubMed Central

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Ukita, Yoko; Miyano, Masashi; Kunishima, Naoki

    2008-01-01

    The β-ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) synthases (β-keto-ACP synthases; KAS) catalyse the addition of two-carbon units to the growing acyl chain during the elongation phase of fatty-acid synthesis. As key regulators of bacterial fatty-acid synthesis, they are promising targets for the development of new antibacterial agents. The crystal structure of 3-oxoacyl-ACP synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8 (TtKAS II) has been solved by molecular replacement and refined at 2.0 Å resolution. The crystal is orthorhombic, space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 72.07, b = 185.57, c = 62.52 Å, and contains one homodimer in the asymmetric unit. The subunits adopt the well known α-β-α-β-α thiolase fold that is common to ACP synthases. The structural and sequence similarities of TtKAS II to KAS I and KAS II enzymes of known structure from other sources support the hypothesis of comparable enzymatic activity. The dimeric state of TtKAS II is important to create each fatty-acid-binding pocket. Closer examination of KAS structures reveals that compared with other KAS structures in the apo form, the active site of TtKAS II is more accessible because of the ‘open’ conformation of the Phe396 side chain. PMID:18453702

  11. Structure of 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier protein) synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8.

    PubMed

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Ukita, Yoko; Miyano, Masashi; Kunishima, Naoki

    2008-05-01

    The beta-ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) synthases (beta-keto-ACP synthases; KAS) catalyse the addition of two-carbon units to the growing acyl chain during the elongation phase of fatty-acid synthesis. As key regulators of bacterial fatty-acid synthesis, they are promising targets for the development of new antibacterial agents. The crystal structure of 3-oxoacyl-ACP synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8 (TtKAS II) has been solved by molecular replacement and refined at 2.0 A resolution. The crystal is orthorhombic, space group P2(1)2(1)2, with unit-cell parameters a = 72.07, b = 185.57, c = 62.52 A, and contains one homodimer in the asymmetric unit. The subunits adopt the well known alpha-beta-alpha-beta-alpha thiolase fold that is common to ACP synthases. The structural and sequence similarities of TtKAS II to KAS I and KAS II enzymes of known structure from other sources support the hypothesis of comparable enzymatic activity. The dimeric state of TtKAS II is important to create each fatty-acid-binding pocket. Closer examination of KAS structures reveals that compared with other KAS structures in the apo form, the active site of TtKAS II is more accessible because of the ;open' conformation of the Phe396 side chain. PMID:18453702

  12. Decarboxylation of malonyl-(acyl carrier protein) by 3-oxoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) synthases in plant fatty acid biosynthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Winter, E; Brummel, M; Schuch, R; Spener, F

    1997-01-01

    In order to identify regulatory steps in fatty acid biosynthesis, the influence of intermediate 3-oxoacyl-(acyl carrier proteins) (3-oxoacyl-ACPs) and end-product acyl-ACPs of the fatty acid synthase reaction on the condensation reaction was investigated in vitro, using total fatty acid synthase preparations and purified 3-oxoacyl-ACP synthases (KASs; EC 2.3.1.41) from Cuphea lanceolata seeds. KAS I and II in the fatty acid synthase preparations were assayed for the elongation of octanoyl- and hexadecanoyl-ACP respectively, and the accumulation of the corresponding condensation product 3-oxoacyl-ACP was studied by modulating the content of the reducing equivalentS NADH and NADPH. Complete omission of reducing equivalents resulted with either KAS in the abnormal synthesis of acetyl-ACP from malonyl-ACP by a decarboxylation reaction. Supplementation with NADPH or NADH, separately or in combination with recombinant 3-oxoacyl-ACP reductase (EC 1.1.1.100), led to a decrease in the amount of acetyl-ACP and a simultaneous increase in elongation products. This demonstrates that the accumulation of 3-oxoacyl-ACP inhibits the condensation reaction on the one hand, and induces the decarboxylation of malonyl-ACP on the other. By carrying out similar experiments with purified enzymes, this decarboxylation was attributed to the action of KAS. Our data point to a regulatory mechanism for the degradation of malonyl-ACP in plants which is activated by the accumulation of the fatty acid synthase intermediate 3-oxoacyl-ACP. PMID:9020860

  13. Characterization of the yellow fever mosquito sterol carrier protein-2 like 3 gene and ligand-bound protein structure

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, David H.; Vyazunova, Irina; Lorch, Jeffery M.; Forest, Katrina T.; Lan, Que

    2009-06-12

    The sterol carrier protein-2 like 3 gene (AeSCP-2L3), a new member of the SCP-2 protein family, is identified from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. The predicted molecular weight of AeSCP-2L3 is 13.4 kDa with a calculated pI of 4.98. AeSCP-2L3 transcription occurs in the larval feeding stages and the mRNA levels decrease in pupae and adults. The highest levels of AeSCP-2L3 gene expression are found in the body wall, and possibly originated in the fat body. This is the first report of a mosquito SCP-2-like protein with prominent expression in tissue other than the midgut. The X-ray protein crystal structure of AeSCP-2L3 reveals a bound C16 fatty acid whose acyl tail penetrates deeply into a hydrophobic cavity. Interestingly, the ligand-binding cavity is slightly larger than previously described for AeSCP-2 (Dyer et al. J Biol Chem 278:39085-39091, 2003) and AeSCP-2L2 (Dyer et al. J Lipid Res M700460-JLR200, 2007). There are also an additional 10 amino acids in SCP-2L3 that are not present in other characterized mosquito SCP-2s forming an extended loop between {beta}3 and {beta}4. Otherwise, the protein backbone is exceedingly similar to other SCP-2 and SCP-2-like proteins. In contrast to this observed high structural homology of members in the mosquito SCP2 family, the amino acid sequence identity between the members is less than 30%. The results from structural analysis imply that there have been evolutionary constraints that favor the SCP-2 C{alpha} backbone fold while the specificity of ligand binding can be altered.

  14. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    PubMed Central

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A.; Potenza, Marco A. C.; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G.

    2015-01-01

    Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10−3 of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in lysozyme and glucose isomerase solutions are locations for crystal nucleation. PMID:26144225

  15. Evaluation of anisotropic charge carrier mobility of perylene single crystals by time-of-flight method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kougo, Junichi; Ishikawa, Ken

    2016-03-01

    The charge carrier mobilities along the vertical and lateral directions of perylene platelet single crystals were measured by the time-of-flight (TOF) method. In the lateral directional measurement, the entire region between electrodes was irradiated to obtain measurable signals. The transient photocurrent was different from the conventional TOF measurements; hence, we developed an analytic method for lateral directional measurement. The electron mobilities along the thickness and lateral directions were 0.33 and 2.0 cm2·V-1·s-1 and the hole mobilities were 0.12 and 0.6 cm2·V-1·s-1, respectively.

  16. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    PubMed Central

    Kiefersauer, Reiner; Grandl, Brigitte; Krapp, Stephan; Huber, Robert

    2014-01-01

    A method and the design of instrumentation, and its preliminary practical realisation, including test experiments, with the object of inducing phase changes of biomolecular crystals by controlled dehydration through heating with infrared (IR) light are described. The aim is to generate and select crystalline phases through transformation in the solid state which have improved order (higher resolution in X-ray diffraction experiments) and reduced mosaic spread (more uniformly aligned mosaic blocks) for diffraction data collection and analysis. The crystal is heated by pulsed and/or constant IR laser irradiation. Loss of crystal water following heating and its reabsorption through equilibration with the environment is measured optically by a video system. Heating proved superior to traditional controlled dehydration by humidity change for the test cases CODH (carbon monoxide dehydrogenase) and CLK2 (a protein kinase). Heating with IR light is experimentally simple and offers an exploration of a much broader parameter space than the traditional method, as it allows the option of varying the rate of phase changes through modification of the IR pulse strength, width and repeat frequency. It impacts the crystal instantaneously, isotropically and homogeneously, and is therefore expected to cause less mechanical stress. PMID:24816092

  17. A protein coated piezoelectric crystal detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suleiman, Ahmad; Pender, Marie; Ngeh-Ngwainbi, Jerome; Lubrano, Glenn; Guilbault, George

    1990-05-01

    The purpose of this project was to develop a protein coated, portable piezoelectric crystal detector for organophosphorus compounds. The performance of acetylcholinesterase, GD-1 anti-soman, anti-DMMP antibody, and bovine serum albumin (BSA) coatings was evaluated. Different immobilization methods were also tested. The responses obtained with the protein coatings immobilized via cross-linking with glutaraldehyde were acceptable, provided that the reference crystal was coated with dextran. The proposed coatings showed good stability and reasonable lifetimes that ranged from approximately three weeks in the case of the antibody coatings to several months in the case of BSA. Although moisture, gasoline, and sulfur are potential interferents, their effects on the sensor were eliminated by using a sodium sulfate scrubber which did not affect the performance of the detector towards organophosphates. A small, battery operated portable instrument capable of real time measurements with alarm function was produced. The instrument can be used in a wide range of applications, depending on the coatings applied to the crystals.

  18. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1993-01-01

    The experimental setup for the in-situ high resolution optical monitoring of protein crystal growth/dissolution morphologies was substantially improved. By augmenting the observation system with a temperature-controlled enclosure, laser illumination for the interferometric microscope, and software for pixel by pixel light intensity recording, a height resolution of about two unit cells for lysozyme can now be obtained. The repartitioning of Na(+) and Cl(-) ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied. Quite unexpectedly, it was found that the longer crystals were in contact with their solution, the lower was their ion content. The development of a model for diffusive-convective transport and resulting distribution of the growth rate on facets was completed. Results obtained for a realistic growth cell geometry show interesting differences between 'growth runs' at 1g and 0g. The kinematic viscosity of lysozyme solutions of various supersaturations and salt concentrations was monitored over time. In contrast to the preliminary finding of other authors, no changes in viscosity were found over four days. The experimental setup for light scattering investigations of aggregation and nucleation in protein solutions was completed, and a computer program for the evaluation of multi-angle light scattering data was acquired.

  19. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    SciTech Connect

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A.; Potenza, Marco A. C.; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G.

    2015-06-27

    The evolution of protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS) and depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy. Newly nucleated crystals within protein-rich clusters were detected directly. These observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters are locations for crystal nucleation. Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10{sup −3} of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in

  20. Thermal conductivity of heavily doped bulk crystals GaN:O. Free carriers contribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeżowski, A.; Churiukova, O.; Mucha, J.; Suski, T.; Obukhov, I. A.; Danilchenko, B. A.

    2015-08-01

    Here we report the results of an experimental study of the thermal conductivity of GaN crystals doped by oxygen with concentrations of 4 × 1016, 2.6 × 1018 and 1.1 × 1020 cm-3, carried out in the temperature interval 7-318 K. We observed the highest thermal conductivity ever reported for GaN, 269 Wm-1 K-1 at 300 K, in the sample with the lowest oxygen content. This result is explained by the renormalization of GaN elastic constants, caused by the effect of spontaneous polarization. Results were analyzed using the Callaway model. The contribution of phonon scattering by free carriers in doped GaN crystals was considered for the first time. We show that free electrons reduce the thermal conductivity by up to 32%-42% at 300 K for a sample with a 1.1 × 1020 cm-3 of oxygen concentration.

  1. Growth of high-strength protein crystals with nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Miki; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Nakabayashi, Iori; Tsuchikura, Hiroshi; Kuwahara, Atsushi; Sano, Satoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Takano, Kazufumi

    2016-03-01

    Here, we present a novel method of growing protein crystals with nanofibers. Protein crystals were grown by incorporating nanofibers. No obvious differences were observed in diffraction data between fiber-containing and as-grown crystals. The fiber-containing crystals displayed an increased tolerance to osmotic shock caused by soaking in 25% ethanol or 40% dimethyl sulfoxide. This means that the method allowed us to easily increase the crystal mechanical stability. Because the method is very simple, it will provide a variety of possibilities for protein crystallization.

  2. Small Device for Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Dr. Daniel Carter (center), president of New Century Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Joseph Ho (right), vice president, examine a diffusion Controlled Apparatus for Microgravity (DCAM). At left, Dr. John Ruble, a senior scientist, examines some specimens. The plastic DCAM has two chambers joined by a porous plug through which fluids can diffuse at a controlled rate. This allows researchers to mix protein solutions on Earth and load them aboard the Space Shuttle shortly before launch. The diffusion and crystallization processes are already under way, but at such a slow pace that crystals do not start growing before the DCAM is in orbit aboard the Shuttle or a space station. Dozens of DCAM units can be flown in a small volume and require virtually no crew attention. Specimens are returned to Earth for analysis. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

  3. Structure-based analysis of the molecular interactions between acyltransferase and acyl carrier protein in vicenistatin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Miyanaga, Akimasa; Iwasawa, Shohei; Shinohara, Yuji; Kudo, Fumitaka; Eguchi, Tadashi

    2016-02-16

    Acyltransferases (ATs) are key determinants of building block specificity in polyketide biosynthesis. Despite the importance of protein-protein interactions between AT and acyl carrier protein (ACP) during the acyltransfer reaction, the mechanism of ACP recognition by AT is not understood in detail. Herein, we report the crystal structure of AT VinK, which transfers a dipeptide group between two ACPs, VinL and VinP1LdACP, in vicenistatin biosynthesis. The isolated VinK structure showed a unique substrate-binding pocket for the dipeptide group linked to ACP. To gain greater insight into the mechanism of ACP recognition, we attempted to crystallize the VinK-ACP complexes. Because transient enzyme-ACP complexes are difficult to crystallize, we developed a covalent cross-linking strategy using a bifunctional maleimide reagent to trap the VinK-ACP complexes, allowing the determination of the crystal structure of the VinK-VinL complex. In the complex structure, Arg-153, Met-206, and Arg-299 of VinK interact with the negatively charged helix II region of VinL. The VinK-VinL complex structure allows, to our knowledge, the first visualization of the interaction between AT and ACP and provides detailed mechanistic insights into ACP recognition by AT. PMID:26831085

  4. Ultratight crystal packing of a 10 kDa protein

    SciTech Connect

    Trillo-Muyo, Sergio; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Minor, Wladek; Kuisiene, Nomeda

    2013-03-01

    The crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase from G. thermoleovorans is reported; it is one of the most tightly packed protein structures reported to date. While small organic molecules generally crystallize forming tightly packed lattices with little solvent content, proteins form air-sensitive high-solvent-content crystals. Here, the crystallization and full structure analysis of a novel recombinant 10 kDa protein corresponding to the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase are reported. The orthorhombic crystal contained only 24.5% solvent and is therefore among the most tightly packed protein lattices ever reported.

  5. Nucleation and Convection Effects in Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilow, Peter G.

    1998-01-01

    Our work under this grant has significantly contributed to the goals of the NASA supported protein crystallization program. We have achieved the main objectives of the proposed work, as outlined in the original proposal: (1) We have provided important insight into protein nucleation and crystal growth mechanisms to facilitate a rational approach to protein crystallization; (2) We have delineated the factors that currently limit the x-ray diffraction resolution of protein crystals, and their correlation to crystallization conditions; (3) We have developed novel technologies to study and monitor protein crystal nucleation and growth processes, in order to increase the reproducibility and yield of protein crystallization. We have published 17 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and books and made more than 15 invited and 9 contributed presentations of our results at international and national scientific meetings.

  6. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    One of the most powerful and versatile methods for studying molecules in solution is fluorescence. Crystallization typically takes place in a concentrated solution environment, whereas fluorescence typically has an upper concentration limit of approximately 1 x 10(exp -5)M, thus intrinsic fluorescence cannot be employed, but a fluorescent probe must be added to a sub population of the molecules. However the fluorescent species cannot interfere with the self-assembly process. This can be achieved with macromolecules, where fluorescent probes can be covalently attached to a sub population of molecules that are subsequently used to track the system as a whole. We are using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study the initial solution phase self-assembly process of tetragonal lysozyme crystal nucleation, using covalent fluorescent derivatives which crystallize in the characteristic P432121 space group. FRET studies are being carried out between cascade blue (CB-lys, donor, Ex 376 nm, Em 420 nm) and lucifer yellow (LY-lys, acceptor, Ex 425 nm, Em 520 nm) asp101 derivatives. The estimated R0 for this probe pair, the distance where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, is approximately 1.2 nm, compared to 2.2 nm between the side chain carboxyls of adjacent asp101's in the crystalline 43 helix. The short CB-lys lifetime (approximately 5 ns), coupled with the large average distances between the molecules ((sup 3) 50 nm) in solution, ensure that any energy transfer observed is not due to random diffusive interactions. Addition of LY-lys to CB-lys results in the appearance of a second, shorter lifetime (approximately 0.2 ns). Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with a model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and grow, and the relevance of that model to microgravity protein crystal growth

  7. A Superhydrophobic Surface Templated by Protein Self-Assembly and Emerging Application toward Protein Crystallization.

    PubMed

    Gao, Aiting; Wu, Qian; Wang, Dehui; Ha, Yuan; Chen, Zhijun; Yang, Peng

    2016-01-20

    A proteinaceous superhydrophobic material for facile protein crystallization is reported. The lysozyme phase transition is rationally manipulated to form a reliable superhydrophobic coating on virtually arbitrary material surfaces with good thermostability and mechanical robustness. Such a surface exhibits a fascinating capability to drive protein crystallization, and the protein crystal array can be facilitated in a large area at an ultralow protein concentration. PMID:26607764

  8. A Pathogenic Fungi Diphenyl Ether Phytotoxin Targets Plant Enoyl (Acyl Carrier Protein) Reductase[W

    PubMed Central

    Dayan, Franck E.; Ferreira, Daneel; Wang, Yan-Hong; Khan, Ikhlas A.; McInroy, John A.; Pan, Zhiqiang

    2008-01-01

    Cyperin is a natural diphenyl ether phytotoxin produced by several fungal plant pathogens. At high concentrations, this metabolite inhibits protoporphyrinogen oxidase, a key enzyme in porphyrin synthesis. However, unlike its herbicide structural analogs, the mode of action of cyperin is not light dependent, causing loss of membrane integrity in the dark. We report that this natural diphenyl ether inhibits Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) enoyl (acyl carrier protein) reductase (ENR). This enzyme is also sensitive to triclosan, a synthetic antimicrobial diphenyl ether. Whereas cyperin was much less potent than triclosan on this target site, their ability to cause light-independent disruption of membrane integrity and inhibition of ENR is similar at their respective phytotoxic concentrations. The sequence of ENR is highly conserved within higher plants and a homology model of Arabidopsis ENR was derived from the crystal structure of the protein from Brassica napus. Cyperin mimicked the binding of triclosan in the binding pocket of ENR. Both molecules were stabilized by the π-π stacking interaction between one of their phenyl rings and the nicotinamide ring of the NAD+. Furthermore, the side chain of tyrosine is involved in hydrogen bonding with a phenolic hydroxy group of cyperin. Therefore, cyperin may contribute to the virulence of the pathogens by inhibiting ENR and destabilizing the membrane integrity of the cells surrounding the point of infection. PMID:18467464

  9. Synthesis and Ultrafast Carrier Dynamics of Single-Crystal Two-Dimensional CuInSe2 Nanosheets.

    PubMed

    Tao, Xin; Mafi, Elham; Gu, Yi

    2014-08-21

    We report, for the first time, the synthesis of single-crystal two-dimensional (2D) CuInSe2 nanosheets and the studies of ultrafast carrier dynamics and transport in this 2D material. Particularly, single-crystal 2D CuInSe2 with various thicknesses in the nanometer regime were fabricated by a solid-state chemical reaction between Cu and single-crystal exfoliated In2Se3 nanosheets. Characteristics of transient optical reflectivity, obtained from femtosecond optical pump-probe measurements on single CuInSe2 nanosheets, suggest that the hot carrier cooling process dominates the carrier dynamics within a few picoseconds following the optical excitation. Spatially resolved pump-probe measurements, coupled to simple model calculations, were used to obtain the ambipolar hot carrier diffusion coefficient in single nanosheets. The dependence of the hot carrier diffusion coefficient on the nanosheet thickness provides insight into the limiting mechanisms of hot carrier transport and can be used to gauge the possibility of efficient hot carrier collection in nanostructured CuInSe2 solar cells. PMID:26278089

  10. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystallization Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Smith, Lori; Forsythe, Elizabeth

    1999-01-01

    We are investigating protein-protein interactions in under- and over-saturated crystallization solution conditions using fluorescence methods. The use of fluorescence requires fluorescent derivatives where the probe does not markedly affect the crystal packing. A number of chicken egg white lysozyme (CEWL) derivatives have been prepared, with the probes covalently attached to one of two different sites on the protein molecule; the side chain carboxyl of ASP 101, within the active site cleft, and the N-terminal amine. The ASP 101 derivatives crystallize while the N-terminal amine derivatives do not. However, the N-terminal amine is part of the contact region between adjacent 43 helix chains, and blocking this site does would not interfere with formation of these structures in solution. Preliminary FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C, using the N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and ASP 101 bound Lucifer Yellow (LY, Ex 425 nm, Em 525 nm) probe combination. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10 (exp 5) M respectively), and all experiments were carried out at approximately Csat or lower total protein concentration. The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence yield of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is apparently more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations (reflected in the lower solubility). The estimated average distance between protein molecules at 5 x 10 (exp 6) M is approximately 70 nm, well beyond the range where any FRET can be expected. The calculated RO, where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, for the PAA-CEWL * LY-CEWL system is 3.28 nm, based upon a PAA-CEWL quantum efficiency of 0.41.

  11. A new subgroup of lectin-bound biliary proteins binds to cholesterol crystals, modifies crystal morphology, and inhibits cholesterol crystallization.

    PubMed Central

    Busch, N; Lammert, F; Marschall, H U; Matern, S

    1995-01-01

    Biliary proteins inhibiting or promoting cholesterol crystallization are assumed to play a major role in cholesterol gallstone pathogenesis. We now report a new group of biliary proteins that bind to cholesterol crystals, modify crystal morphology, and inhibit cholesterol crystallization. Various glycoprotein mixtures were extracted from abnormal human gallbladder bile using lectin affinity chromatography on concanavalin A, lentil, and Helix pomatia columns and were added to supersaturated model bile. Independent of the protein mixtures added, from the cholesterol crystals harvested, the same four GPs were isolated having molecular masses of 16, 28, 63, and 74 kD, respectively. Each protein was purified using preparative SDS-PAGE, and influence on cholesterol crystallization in model bile was tested at 10 microg/ml. Crystal growth was reduced by 76% (GP63), 65% (GP16), 55% (GP74), and 40% (GP28), respectively. Thus, these glycoproteins are the most potent biliary inhibitors of cholesterol crystallization known so far. Evidence that the inhibiting effect on cholesterol crystallization is mediated via protein-crystal interaction was further provided from scanning electron microscopy studies. Crystals grown in presence of inhibiting proteins showed significantly more ordered structures. Incidence of triclinic crystals and regular aggregates was shifted from 30 to 70% compared with controls. These observations may have important implications for understanding the role of biliary proteins in cholesterol crystallization and gallstone pathogenesis. Images PMID:8675674

  12. JAXA protein crystallization in space: ongoing improvements for growing high-quality crystals.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Sachiko; Ohta, Kazunori; Furubayashi, Naoki; Yan, Bin; Koga, Misako; Wada, Yoshio; Yamada, Mitsugu; Inaka, Koji; Tanaka, Hiroaki; Miyoshi, Hiroshi; Kobayashi, Tomoyuki; Kamigaichi, Shigeki

    2013-11-01

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) started a high-quality protein crystal growth project, now called JAXA PCG, on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002. Using the counter-diffusion technique, 14 sessions of experiments have been performed as of 2012 with 580 proteins crystallized in total. Over the course of these experiments, a user-friendly interface framework for high accessibility has been constructed and crystallization techniques improved; devices to maximize the use of the microgravity environment have been designed, resulting in some high-resolution crystal growth. If crystallization conditions were carefully fixed in ground-based experiments, high-quality protein crystals grew in microgravity in many experiments on the ISS, especially when a highly homogeneous protein sample and a viscous crystallization solution were employed. In this article, the current status of JAXA PCG is discussed, and a rational approach to high-quality protein crystal growth in microgravity based on numerical analyses is explained. PMID:24121350

  13. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank

    PubMed Central

    Kirkwood, Jobie; Hargreaves, David; O’Keefe, Simon; Wilson, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the largest available repository of solved protein structures and contains a wealth of information on successful crystallization. Many centres have used their own experimental data to draw conclusions about proteins and the conditions in which they crystallize. Here, data from the PDB were used to reanalyse some of these results. The most successful crystallization reagents were identified, the link between solution pH and the isoelectric point of the protein was investigated and the possibility of predicting whether a protein will crystallize was explored. PMID:26457511

  14. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1994-01-01

    This research involved (1) using the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in a study on the growth of lysozyme crystals and (2) refinement of the design of the Thermonucleator which controls the supersaturation required for the nucleation and growth of protein crystals separately. AFM studies of the (110) tetragonal face confirmed that lysozyme crystals grow by step propagation. There appears to be very little step pile up in the growth regimes which we studied. The step height was measured at = 54A which was equal to the (110) interpane spacing. The AFM images showed areas of step retardation and the formation of pits. These defects ranged in size from 0.1 to 0.4 mu. The source of these defects was not determined. The redesign of the Thermonucleator produced an instrument based on thermoelectric technology which is both easier to use and more amenable to use in a mu g environment. The use of thermoelectric technology resulted in a considerable size reduction which will allow for the design of a multi-unit growth apparatus. The performance of the new apparatus was demonstrated to be the same as the original design.

  15. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.

    1999-01-01

    Fluorescence can be used to study protein crystal nucleation through methods such as anisotropy, quenching, and resonance energy transfer (FRET), to follow pH and ionic strength changes, and follow events occurring at the growth interface. We have postulated, based upon a range of experimental evidence that the growth unit of tetragonal hen egg white lysozyme is an octamer. Several fluorescent derivatives of chicken egg white lysozyme have been prepared. The fluorescent probes lucifer yellow (LY), cascade blue, and 5-((2-aminoethyl)aminonapthalene-1-sulfonic acid (EDANS), have been covalently attached to ASP 101. All crystallize in the characteristic tetragonal form, indicating that the bound probes are likely laying within the active site cleft. Crystals of the LY and EDANS derivatives have been found to diffract to at least 1.7 A. A second group of derivatives is to the N-terminal amine group, and these do not crystallize as this site is part of the contact region between the adjacent 43 helix chains. However derivatives at these sites would not interfere with formation of the 43 helices in solution. Preliminary FRET studies have been carried out using N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) lysozyme as a donor and LY (Ex -425 nm, Em 525 nm) labeled lysozyme as an acceptor. FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1 M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10(exp -5) M respectively). The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence intensity of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations reflected in the lower solubility. The calculated average distance between any two protein molecules at 5 x 10(exp -6) M is approximately 70nm, well beyond the

  16. Imaging of Protein Crystals with Two-Photon Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Padayatti, Pius; Palczewska, Grazyna; Sun, Wenyu; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Salom, David

    2012-05-02

    Second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC), which portrays second-harmonic generation (SHG) by noncentrosymmetric crystals, is emerging as a powerful imaging technique for protein crystals in media opaque to visible light because of its high signal-to-noise ratio. Here we report the incorporation of both SONICC and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) into one imaging system that allows visualization of crystals as small as 10 {mu}m in their longest dimension. Using this system, we then documented an inverse correlation between the level of symmetry in examined crystals and the intensity of their SHG. Moreover, because of blue-green TPEF exhibited by most tested protein crystals, we also could identify and image SHG-silent protein crystals. Our experimental data suggest that the TPEF in protein crystals is mainly caused by the oxidation of tryptophan residues. Additionally, we found that unspecific fluorescent dyes are able to bind to lysozyme crystals and enhance their detection by TPEF. We finally confirmed that the observed fluorescence was generated by a two-photon rather than a three-photon process. The capability for imaging small protein crystals in turbid or opaque media with nondamaging infrared light in a single system makes the combination of SHG and intrinsic visible TPEF a powerful tool for nondestructive protein crystal identification and characterization during crystallization trials.

  17. Imaging of protein crystals with two–photon microscopy†

    PubMed Central

    Padayatti, Pius; Palczewska, Grazyna; Sun, Wenyu; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Salom, David

    2012-01-01

    Second–order non–linear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC), that portrays second harmonic generation (SHG) by non–centrosymmetric crystals, is emerging as a powerful imaging technique for protein crystals in media opaque to visible light because of its high signal–to–noise ratio. Here we report the incorporation of both SONICC and two–photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) into one imaging system that allows visualization of crystals as small as ~10 μm in their longest dimension. Using this system, we then documented an inverse correlation between the level of symmetry in examined crystals and the intensity of their SHG. Moreover, because of blue-green TPEF exhibited by most tested protein crystals, we also could identify and image SHG–silent protein crystals. Our experimental data suggests that the TPEF in protein crystals is mainly caused by the oxidation of tryptophan residues. Additionally, we found that unspecific fluorescent dyes are able to bind to lysozyme crystals and enhance their detection by TPFE. We finally confirmed that the observed fluorescence was generated by a two-photon rather than a three-photon process. The capability for imaging small protein crystals in turbid or opaque media with non–damaging infrared light in a single system, makes the combination of SHG and intrinsic visible TPEF a powerful tool for non–destructive protein crystal identification and characterization during crystallization trials. PMID:22324807

  18. Modeling the SHG activities of diverse protein crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Haupert, Levi M.; DeWalt, Emma L.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2012-11-01

    The origins of the diversity in the SHG signal from protein crystals are investigated and potential protein-crystal coverage by SHG microscopy is assessed. A symmetry-additive ab initio model for second-harmonic generation (SHG) activity of protein crystals was applied to assess the likely protein-crystal coverage of SHG microscopy. Calculations were performed for 250 proteins in nine point-group symmetries: a total of 2250 crystals. The model suggests that the crystal symmetry and the limit of detection of the instrument are expected to be the strongest predictors of coverage of the factors considered, which also included secondary-structural content and protein size. Much of the diversity in SHG activity is expected to arise primarily from the variability in the intrinsic protein response as well as the orientation within the crystal lattice. Two or more orders-of-magnitude variation in intensity are expected even within protein crystals of the same symmetry. SHG measurements of tetragonal lysozyme crystals confirmed detection, from which a protein coverage of ∼84% was estimated based on the proportion of proteins calculated to produce SHG responses greater than that of tetragonal lysozyme. Good agreement was observed between the measured and calculated ratios of the SHG intensity from lysozyme in tetragonal and monoclinic lattices.

  19. Structure-based analysis of the molecular interactions between acyltransferase and acyl carrier protein in vicenistatin biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Miyanaga, Akimasa; Iwasawa, Shohei; Shinohara, Yuji; Kudo, Fumitaka; Eguchi, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    Acyltransferases (ATs) are key determinants of building block specificity in polyketide biosynthesis. Despite the importance of protein–protein interactions between AT and acyl carrier protein (ACP) during the acyltransfer reaction, the mechanism of ACP recognition by AT is not understood in detail. Herein, we report the crystal structure of AT VinK, which transfers a dipeptide group between two ACPs, VinL and VinP1LdACP, in vicenistatin biosynthesis. The isolated VinK structure showed a unique substrate-binding pocket for the dipeptide group linked to ACP. To gain greater insight into the mechanism of ACP recognition, we attempted to crystallize the VinK–ACP complexes. Because transient enzyme–ACP complexes are difficult to crystallize, we developed a covalent cross-linking strategy using a bifunctional maleimide reagent to trap the VinK–ACP complexes, allowing the determination of the crystal structure of the VinK–VinL complex. In the complex structure, Arg-153, Met-206, and Arg-299 of VinK interact with the negatively charged helix II region of VinL. The VinK–VinL complex structure allows, to our knowledge, the first visualization of the interaction between AT and ACP and provides detailed mechanistic insights into ACP recognition by AT. PMID:26831085

  20. Adjustment of Protein Crystal Porosity for Biotemplating: Chemical and Protein Engineering Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wine, Yariv; Cohen-Hadar, Noa; Lagziel-Simis, Shira; Dror, Yael; Frolow, Felix; Freeman, Amihay

    2010-05-01

    Protein crystals, routinely prepared for the elucidation of protein 3D structures by X-ray crystallography, present an ordered and highly accurate 3D array of protein molecules. Inherent to the 3D arrangement of the protein molecules in the crystal is a complementary 3D array of voids made of interconnected cavities and exhibiting highly ordered porosity. Here we propose and demonstrate feasibility of using chemical and genetic tools to alter protein crystal packing by a series of modifications of targeted sites on protein's surface, enabling the generation of a series of protein crystal biotemplates, all originating from same parent protein.

  1. Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis mtFabD, a malonyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT)

    SciTech Connect

    Ghadbane, Hemza; Brown, Alistair K.; Kremer, Laurent; Besra, Gurdyal S. Fütterer, Klaus

    2007-10-01

    Binding of Ni{sup 2+} ions to the uncleaved affinity tag facilitated de novo phasing of the crystal structure of M. tuberculosis mtFabD to 3.0 Å resolution. Mycobacteria display a unique and unusual cell-wall architecture, central to which is the membrane-proximal mycolyl-arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan core (mAGP). The biosynthesis of mycolic acids, which form the outermost layer of the mAGP core, involves malonyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT). This essential enzyme catalyses the transfer of malonyl from coenzyme A to acyl carrier protein AcpM, thus feeding these two-carbon units into the chain-elongation cycle of the type II fatty-acid synthase. The crystal structure of M. tuberculosis mtFabD, the mycobacterial MCAT, has been determined to 3.0 Å resolution by multi-wavelength anomalous dispersion. Phasing was facilitated by Ni{sup 2+} ions bound to the 20-residue N-terminal affinity tag, which packed between the two independent copies of mtFabD.

  2. Structure of the complex between teicoplanin and a bacterial cell-wall peptide: use of a carrier-protein approach

    SciTech Connect

    Economou, Nicoleta J.; Zentner, Isaac J.; Lazo, Edwin; Jakoncic, Jean; Stojanoff, Vivian; Weeks, Stephen D.; Grasty, Kimberly C.; Cocklin, Simon; Loll, Patrick J.

    2013-04-01

    Using a carrier-protein strategy, the structure of teicoplanin bound to its bacterial cell-wall target has been determined. The structure reveals the molecular determinants of target recognition, flexibility in the antibiotic backbone and intrinsic radiation sensitivity of teicoplanin. Multidrug-resistant bacterial infections are commonly treated with glycopeptide antibiotics such as teicoplanin. This drug inhibits bacterial cell-wall biosynthesis by binding and sequestering a cell-wall precursor: a d-alanine-containing peptide. A carrier-protein strategy was used to crystallize the complex of teicoplanin and its target peptide by fusing the cell-wall peptide to either MBP or ubiquitin via native chemical ligation and subsequently crystallizing the protein–peptide–antibiotic complex. The 2.05 Å resolution MBP–peptide–teicoplanin structure shows that teicoplanin recognizes its ligand through a combination of five hydrogen bonds and multiple van der Waals interactions. Comparison of this teicoplanin structure with that of unliganded teicoplanin reveals a flexibility in the antibiotic peptide backbone that has significant implications for ligand recognition. Diffraction experiments revealed an X-ray-induced dechlorination of the sixth amino acid of the antibiotic; it is shown that teicoplanin is significantly more radiation-sensitive than other similar antibiotics and that ligand binding increases radiosensitivity. Insights derived from this new teicoplanin structure may contribute to the development of next-generation antibacterials designed to overcome bacterial resistance.

  3. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank

    SciTech Connect

    Kirkwood, Jobie; Hargreaves, David; O’Keefe, Simon; Wilson, Julie

    2015-09-23

    In a large-scale study using data from the Protein Data Bank, some of the many reported findings regarding the crystallization of proteins were investigated. The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the largest available repository of solved protein structures and contains a wealth of information on successful crystallization. Many centres have used their own experimental data to draw conclusions about proteins and the conditions in which they crystallize. Here, data from the PDB were used to reanalyse some of these results. The most successful crystallization reagents were identified, the link between solution pH and the isoelectric point of the protein was investigated and the possibility of predicting whether a protein will crystallize was explored.

  4. Protein and virus crystal growth on international microgravity laboratory-2.

    PubMed Central

    Koszelak, S; Day, J; Leja, C; Cudney, R; McPherson, A

    1995-01-01

    Two T = 1 and one T = 3 plant viruses, along with a protein, were crystallized in microgravity during the International Microgravity Laboratory-2 (IML-2) mission in July of 1994. The method used was liquid-liquid diffusion in the European Space Agency's Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF). Distinctive alterations in the habits of Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus (TYMV) crystals and hexagonal canavalin crystals were observed. Crystals of cubic Satellite Tobacco Mosaic Virus (STMV) more than 30 times the volume of crystals grown in the laboratory were produced in microgravity. X-ray diffraction analysis demonstrated that both crystal forms of canavalin and the cubic STMV crystals diffracted to significantly higher resolution and had superior diffraction properties as judged by relative Wilson plots. It is postulated that the establishment of quasi-stable depletion zones around crystals growing in microgravity are responsible for self-regulated and more ordered growth. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 6 PMID:7669890

  5. Protein Crystal Growth With the Aid of Microfluidics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderWoerd, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Protein crystallography is one of three well-known methods to obtain the structure of proteins. A major rate limiting step in protein crystallography is protein crystal nucleation and growth, which is still largely a process conducted by trial-and-error methods. Many attempts have been made to improve protein crystal growth by performing growth in microgravity. Although the use of microgravity appears to improve crystal quality in some attempts, this method has been inefficient because several reasons: we lack a fundamental understanding of macromolecular crystal growth in general and of the influence of microgravity in particular, we have to start with crystal growth conditions in microgravity based on conditions on the ground and finally the hardware does not allow for experimental iteration without reloading samples on the ground. To partially accommodate the disadvantages of the current hardware, we have used microfluidic technology (Lab-on-a-Chip devices) to design the concept of a more efficient crystallization device, suitable for use on the International Space Station and in high-throughput applications on the ground. The concept and properties of microfluidics, the application design process, and the advances in protein crystal growth hardware will be discussed in this presentation. Some examples of proteins crystallized in the new hardware will be discussed, including the differences between conventional crystallization versus crystallization in microfluidics.

  6. Acoustic Methods to Monitor Protein Crystallization and to Detect Protein Crystals in Suspensions of Agarose and Lipidic Cubic Phase.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Daniel L; Yin, Xingyu; Scalia, Alexander; Samara, Yasmin N; Stearns, Richard; Vlahos, Harry; Ellson, Richard; Sweet, Robert M; Soares, Alexei S

    2016-02-01

    Improvements needed for automated crystallography include crystal detection and crystal harvesting. A technique that uses acoustic droplet ejection to harvest crystals was previously reported. Here a method is described for using the same acoustic instrument to detect protein crystals and to monitor crystal growth. Acoustic pulses were used to monitor the progress of crystallization trials and to detect the presence and location of protein crystals. Crystals were detected, and crystallization was monitored in aqueous solutions and in lipidic cubic phase. Using a commercially available acoustic instrument, crystals measuring ~150 µm or larger were readily detected. Simple laboratory techniques were used to increase the sensitivity to 50 µm by suspending the crystals away from the plastic surface of the crystallization plate. This increased the sensitivity by separating the strong signal generated by the plate bottom that can mask the signal from small protein crystals. It is possible to further boost the acoustic reflection from small crystals by reducing the wavelength of the incident sound pulse, but our current instrumentation does not allow this option. In the future, commercially available sound-emitting transducers with a characteristic frequency near 300 MHz should detect and monitor the growth of individual 3 µm crystals. PMID:26574563

  7. Carrier scattering processes and low energy phonon spectroscopy in hybrid perovskites crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Even, Jacky; Paofai, Serge; Bourges, Philippe; Letoublon, Antoine; Cordier, Stéphane; Durand, Olivier; Katan, Claudine

    2016-03-01

    Despite the wealth of research conducted the last three years on hybrid organic perovskites (HOP), several questions remain open including: to what extend the organic moiety changes the properties of the material as compared to allinorganic (AIP) related perovskite structures. To ultimately reach an answer to this question, we have recently introduced two approaches that were designed to take the stochastic molecular degrees of freedom into account, and suggested that the high temperature cubic phase of HOP and AIP is an appropriate reference phase to rationalize HOP's properties. In this paper, we recall the main concepts and discuss more specifically the various possible couplings between charge carriers and low energy excitations such as acoustic and optical phonons. As available experimental or simulated data on low energy excitations are limited, we also present preliminary neutron scattering and ultrasonic measurements obtained and freshly prepared single crystals of CH3NH3PbBr3.

  8. Inhibition of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase InhA by arylamides.

    PubMed

    He, Xin; Alian, Akram; Ortiz de Montellano, Paul R

    2007-11-01

    InhA, the enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is one of the key enzymes involved in the type II fatty acid biosynthesis pathway of M. tuberculosis. We report here the discovery, through high-throughput screening, of a series of arylamides as a novel class of potent InhA inhibitors. These direct InhA inhibitors require no mycobacterial enzymatic activation and thus circumvent the resistance mechanism to antitubercular prodrugs such as INH and ETA that is most commonly observed in drug-resistant clinical isolates. The crystal structure of InhA complexed with one representative inhibitor reveals the binding mode of the inhibitor within the InhA active site. Further optimization through a microtiter synthesis strategy followed by in situ activity screening led to the discovery of a potent InhA inhibitor with in vitro IC(50)=90 nM, representing a 34-fold potency improvement over the lead compound. PMID:17723305

  9. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    -association process is a function of the protein concentration relative to the saturation concentration, and observing it in dilute solution (conc. less than or equal to 10(exp -5)M) requires that the experiments be performed under low solubility conditions, i.e., low temperatures and high salt concentrations. Data from preliminary steady state FRET studies with N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA-lys, donor, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and asp101 LY-lys as an acceptor showed a consistent trend of decreasing donor fluorescence intensity with increasing total protein concentration. The FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding C(sub sat) values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approx. 3.3 and approx. 2.5 x 10(exp -5)M respectively). The donor fluorescence decrease is more pronounced at7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations as reflected in the lower solubility. Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with an emerging model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and the relevance of that model to other proteins.

  10. Mycobacterium tuberculosis acyl carrier protein synthase adopts two different pH-dependent structural conformations

    SciTech Connect

    Gokulan, Kuppan; Aggarwal, Anup; Shipman, Lance; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Sacchettini, James C.

    2011-09-20

    The crystal structures of acyl carrier protein synthase (AcpS) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and Corynebacterium ammoniagenes determined at pH 5.3 and pH 6.5, respectively, are reported. Comparison of the Mtb apo-AcpS structure with the recently reported structure of the Mtb AcpS-ADP complex revealed that AcpS adopts two different conformations: the orthorhombic and trigonal space-group structures show structural differences in the {alpha}2 helix and in the conformation of the {alpha}3-{alpha}4 connecting loop, which is in a closed conformation. The apo-AcpS structure shows electron density for the entire model and was obtained at lower pH values (4.4-6.0). In contrast, at a higher pH value (6.5) AcpS undergoes significant conformational changes, resulting in disordered regions that show no electron density in the AcpS model. The solved structures also reveal that C. ammoniagenes AcpS undergoes structural rearrangement in two regions, similar to the recently reported Mtb AcpS-ADP complex structure. In vitro reconstitution experiments show that AcpS has a higher post-translational modification activity between pH 4.4 and 6.0 than at pH values above 6.5, where the activity drops owing to the change in conformation. The results show that apo-AcpS and AcpS-ADP adopt different conformations depending upon the pH conditions of the crystallization solution.

  11. Electrorheological crystallization of proteins and other molecules

    DOEpatents

    Craig, G.D.; Rupp, B.

    1996-06-11

    An electrorheological crystalline mass of a molecule is formed by dispersing the molecule in a dispersion fluid and subjecting the molecule dispersion to a uniform electrical field for a period of time during which time an electrorheological crystalline mass is formed. Molecules that may be used to form an electrorheological crystalline mass include any organic or inorganic molecule which has a permanent dipole and/or which is capable of becoming an induced dipole in the presence of an electric field. The molecules used to form the electrorheological crystalline mass are preferably macromolecules, such as biomolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipoproteins and viruses. Molecules are crystallized by a method in which an electric field is maintained for a period of time after the electrorheological crystalline mass has formed during which time at least some of the molecules making up the electrorheological crystalline mass form a crystal lattice. The three dimensional structure of a molecule is determined by a method in which an electrorheological crystalline mass of the molecule is formed, an X-ray diffraction pattern of the electrorheological crystalline mass is obtained and the three dimensional structure of the molecule is calculated from the X-ray diffraction pattern. 4 figs.

  12. Electrorheological crystallization of proteins and other molecules

    DOEpatents

    Craig, George D.; Rupp, Bernhard

    1996-01-01

    An electrorheological crystalline mass of a molecule is formed by dispersing the molecule in a dispersion fluid and subjecting the molecule dispersion to a uniform electrical field for a period of time during which time an electrorheological crystalline mass is formed. Molecules that may be used to form an electrorheological crystalline mass include any organic or inorganic molecule which has a permanent dipole and/or which is capable of becoming an induced dipole in the presence of an electric field. The molecules used to form the electrorheological crystalline mass are preferably macromolecules, such as biomolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipoproteins and viruses. Molecules are crystallized by a method in which an electric field is maintained for a period of time after the electrorheological crystalline mass has formed during which time at least some of the molecules making up the electrorheological crystalline mass form a crystal lattice. The three dimensional structure of a molecule is determined by a method in which an electrorheological crystalline mass of the molecule is formed, an x-ray diffraction pattern of the electrorheological crystalline mass is obtained and the three dimensional structure of the molecule is calculated from the x-ray diffraction pattern.

  13. Detergent-Specific Membrane Protein Crystallization Screens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiener, Michael

    2007-01-01

    A suite of reagents has been developed for three-dimensional crystallization of integral membranes present in solution as protein-detergent complexes (PDCs). The compositions of these reagents have been determined in part by proximity to the phase boundaries (lower consolute boundaries) of the detergents present in the PDCs. The acquisition of some of the requisite phase-boundary data and the preliminary design of several of the detergent- specific screens was supported by a NASA contract. At the time of expiration of the contract, a partial set of preliminary screens had been developed. This work has since been extended under non-NASA sponsorship, leading to near completion of a set of 20 to 30 different and unique detergent- specific 96-condition screens.

  14. Large-scale crystallization of proteins for purification and formulation.

    PubMed

    Hekmat, Dariusch

    2015-07-01

    Since about 170 years, salts were used to create supersaturated solutions and crystallize proteins. The dehydrating effect of salts as well as their kosmotropic or chaotropic character was revealed. Even the suitability of organic solvents for crystallization was already recognized. Interestingly, what was performed during the early times is still practiced today. A lot of effort was put into understanding the underlying physico-chemical interaction mechanisms leading to protein crystallization. However, it was understood that already the solvation of proteins is a highly complex process not to mention the intricate interrelation of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions taking place. Although many basic questions are still unanswered, preparative protein crystallization was attempted as illustrated in the presented case studies. Due to the highly variable nature of crystallization, individual design of the crystallization process is needed in every single case. It was shown that preparative crystallization from impure protein solutions as a capture step is possible after applying adequate pre-treatment procedures like precipitation or extraction. Protein crystallization can replace one or more chromatography steps. It was further shown that crystallization can serve as an attractive alternative means for formulation of therapeutic proteins. Crystalline proteins can offer enhanced purity and enable highly concentrated doses of the active ingredient. Easy scalability of the proposed protein crystallization processes was shown using the maximum local energy dissipation as a suitable scale-up criterion. Molecular modeling and target-oriented protein engineering may allow protein crystallization to become part of a platform purification process in the near future. PMID:25700885

  15. Protein Nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Carriers for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lohcharoenkal, Warangkana; Wang, Liying; Chen, Yi Charlie

    2014-01-01

    Nanoparticles have increasingly been used for a variety of applications, most notably for the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. A large number of nanoparticle drug delivery systems have been developed for cancer treatment and various materials have been explored as drug delivery agents to improve the therapeutic efficacy and safety of anticancer drugs. Natural biomolecules such as proteins are an attractive alternative to synthetic polymers which are commonly used in drug formulations because of their safety. In general, protein nanoparticles offer a number of advantages including biocompatibility and biodegradability. They can be prepared under mild conditions without the use of toxic chemicals or organic solvents. Moreover, due to their defined primary structure, protein-based nanoparticles offer various possibilities for surface modifications including covalent attachment of drugs and targeting ligands. In this paper, we review the most significant advancements in protein nanoparticle technology and their use in drug delivery arena. We then examine the various sources of protein materials that have been used successfully for the construction of protein nanoparticles as well as their methods of preparation. Finally, we discuss the applications of protein nanoparticles in cancer therapy. PMID:24772414

  16. Preliminary investigations of protein crystal growth using the Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, L. J.; Suddath, F. L.; Snyder, R.; Naumann, R.; Broom, M. B.; Pusey, M.; Yost, V.; Herren, B .; Carter, D.

    1986-01-01

    Four preliminary Shuttle experiments are described which have been used to develop prototype hardware for a more advanced system that will evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth. The first phase of these experiments has centered on the development of micromethods for protein crystal growth by vapor-diffusion techniques (using a space version of the hanging-drop method) and on dialysis using microdialysis cells. Results suggest that the elimination of density-driven sedimentation can effect crystal morphology. In the dialysis experiment, space-grown crystals of concanavalin B were three times longer and 1/3 the thickness of earth-grown crystals.

  17. Quantifying Nanomolar Protein Concentrations Using Designed DNA Carriers and Solid-State Nanopores.

    PubMed

    Kong, Jinglin; Bell, Nicholas A W; Keyser, Ulrich F

    2016-06-01

    Designed "DNA carriers" have been proposed as a new method for nanopore based specific protein detection. In this system, target protein molecules bind to a long DNA strand at a defined position creating a second level transient current drop against the background DNA translocation. Here, we demonstrate the ability of this system to quantify protein concentrations in the nanomolar range. After incubation with target protein at different concentrations, the fraction of DNA translocations showing a secondary current spike allows for the quantification of the corresponding protein concentration. For our proof-of-principle experiments we use two standard binding systems, biotin-streptavidin and digoxigenin-antidigoxigenin, that allow for measurements of the concentration down to the low nanomolar range. The results demonstrate the potential for a novel quantitative and specific protein detection scheme using the DNA carrier method. PMID:27121643

  18. Automating the application of smart materials for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Khurshid, Sahir; Govada, Lata; EL-Sharif, Hazim F.; Reddy, Subrayal M.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2015-03-01

    The first semi-liquid, non-protein nucleating agent for automated protein crystallization trials is described. This ‘smart material’ is demonstrated to induce crystal growth and will provide a simple, cost-effective tool for scientists in academia and industry. The fabrication and validation of the first semi-liquid nonprotein nucleating agent to be administered automatically to crystallization trials is reported. This research builds upon prior demonstration of the suitability of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs; known as ‘smart materials’) for inducing protein crystal growth. Modified MIPs of altered texture suitable for high-throughput trials are demonstrated to improve crystal quality and to increase the probability of success when screening for suitable crystallization conditions. The application of these materials is simple, time-efficient and will provide a potent tool for structural biologists embarking on crystallization trials.

  19. Effect of Fe-doping on nonlinear optical responses and carrier trapping dynamics in GaN single crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Yu; Yang, Junyi; Yang, Yong; Zhou, Feng; Wu, Xingzhi; Xiao, Zhengguo; Song, Yinglin

    2015-08-03

    We presented a quantitative study on the Fe-doping concentration dependence of optical nonlinearities and ultrafast carrier dynamics in Fe-doped GaN (GaN:Fe) single crystals using picosecond Z-scan and femtosecond pump-probe with phase object techniques under two-photon excitation. In contrast to the two-photon absorption that was found to be independent on the Fe-doping, the nonlinear refraction decreased with the Fe concentration due to the fast carrier trapping effect of Fe{sup 3+}/Fe{sup 2+} deep acceptors, which simultaneously acted as an efficient non-radiative recombination channels for excess carriers. Remarkably, compared to that of Si-doped GaN bulk crystal, the free-carrier refraction effect in GaN:Fe crystals was found to be enhanced considerably since Fe-doping and the effective carrier lifetime (∼10 ps) could be tuned over three orders of magnitude at high Fe-doping level of 1 × 10{sup 19 }cm{sup −3}.

  20. Some implications of colloid stability theory for protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, C. C.; De Mattei, R. C.; Feigelson, R. S.; Tiller, W. A.

    1988-01-01

    Colloid stability theory has been applied to protein crystallization and predicts a narrow range of conditions under which crystals can be grown without the agglomeration of protein molecules (colloids) in the bulk solution. It also predicts a critical electrolyte concentration above which agglomeration will always occur. Using this theory, the rapid protein agglomeration occurring during Schlieren experiments as well as a terminal crystal size effect in a fixed container were explained. Following this concept, the supposed 'terminal' crystal size has been at least doubled.

  1. Crystallization of asymmetric patchy models for globular proteins in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fusco, Diana; Charbonneau, Patrick

    2013-07-01

    Asymmetric patchy particle models have recently been shown to describe the crystallization of small globular proteins with near-quantitative accuracy. Here, we investigate how asymmetry in patch geometry and bond energy generally impacts the phase diagram and nucleation dynamics of this family of soft matter models. We find the role of the geometry asymmetry to be weak, but the energy asymmetry to markedly interfere with the crystallization thermodynamics and kinetics. These results provide a rationale for the success and occasional failure of the proposal of George and Wilson for protein crystallization conditions as well as physical guidance for developing more effective protein crystallization strategies.

  2. Effect of Column Disorder on Carrier Transport in Columnar Discotic Liquid Crystal Evaluated by Applying Precisely Controlled Shear Stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jaeki; Yamasaki, Naoyuki; Hayashi, Takeshi; Katayama, Mitsuyoshi; Yoshida, Hiroyuki; Moritake, Hiroshi; Fujii, Akihiko; Ozaki, Masanori

    2013-10-01

    The effect of column disorder on carrier drift mobility in columnar discotic liquid crystals has been investigated by applying a precisely controlled oscillating shear stress. Drift mobilities on the order of 10-1 cm2.V-1.s-1 were confirmed for positive and negative carriers in the columnar phase of 1,4,8,11,15,18,22,25-octahexylphthalocyanine in a well-aligned homeotropic geometry, in which the columnar axis was perfectly perpendicular to substrates with an electrode. A slight tilt of the columnar axis upon applying shear stress led to a marked decrease in electronic carrier mobility from 10-1 to less than 10-6 cm2.V-1.s-1, and transport was only confirmed for positive ion carriers. This result indicates that a uniform shear stress blocks the carrier transport path in the entire area of the electrode, and one-dimensional carrier transport path along the columns is easily hindered in columnar discotic liquid crystals.

  3. Anisotropy, phonon modes, and free charge carrier parameters in monoclinic β -gallium oxide single crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, M.; Korlacki, R.; Knight, S.; Hofmann, T.; Schöche, S.; Darakchieva, V.; Janzén, E.; Monemar, B.; Gogova, D.; Thieu, Q.-T.; Togashi, R.; Murakami, H.; Kumagai, Y.; Goto, K.; Kuramata, A.; Yamakoshi, S.; Higashiwaki, M.

    2016-03-01

    We derive a dielectric function tensor model approach to render the optical response of monoclinic and triclinic symmetry materials with multiple uncoupled infrared and far-infrared active modes. We apply our model approach to monoclinic β -Ga2O3 single-crystal samples. Surfaces cut under different angles from a bulk crystal, (010) and (2 ¯01 ), are investigated by generalized spectroscopic ellipsometry within infrared and far-infrared spectral regions. We determine the frequency dependence of 4 independent β -Ga2O3 Cartesian dielectric function tensor elements by matching large sets of experimental data using a point-by-point data inversion approach. From matching our monoclinic model to the obtained 4 dielectric function tensor components, we determine all infrared and far-infrared active transverse optic phonon modes with Au and Bu symmetry, and their eigenvectors within the monoclinic lattice. We find excellent agreement between our model results and results of density functional theory calculations. We derive and discuss the frequencies of longitudinal optical phonons in β -Ga2O3 . We derive and report density and anisotropic mobility parameters of the free charge carriers within the tin-doped crystals. We discuss the occurrence of longitudinal phonon plasmon coupled modes in β -Ga2O3 and provide their frequencies and eigenvectors. We also discuss and present monoclinic dielectric constants for static electric fields and frequencies above the reststrahlen range, and we provide a generalization of the Lyddane-Sachs-Teller relation for monoclinic lattices with infrared and far-infrared active modes. We find that the generalized Lyddane-Sachs-Teller relation is fulfilled excellently for β -Ga2O3 .

  4. Correlation between Protein Sequence Similarity and Crystallization Reagents in the Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hui-Meng; Yin, Da-Chuan; Liu, Yong-Ming; Guo, Wei-Hong; Zhou, Ren-Bin

    2012-01-01

    The protein structural entries grew far slower than the sequence entries. This is partly due to the bottleneck in obtaining diffraction quality protein crystals for structural determination using X-ray crystallography. The first step to achieve protein crystallization is to find out suitable chemical reagents. However, it is not an easy task. Exhausting trial and error tests of numerous combinations of different reagents mixed with the protein solution are usually necessary to screen out the pursuing crystallization conditions. Therefore, any attempts to help find suitable reagents for protein crystallization are helpful. In this paper, an analysis of the relationship between the protein sequence similarity and the crystallization reagents according to the information from the existing databases is presented. We extracted information of reagents and sequences from the Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database (BMCD) and the Protein Data Bank (PDB) database, classified the proteins into different clusters according to the sequence similarity, and statistically analyzed the relationship between the sequence similarity and the crystallization reagents. The results showed that there is a pronounced positive correlation between them. Therefore, according to the correlation, prediction of feasible chemical reagents that are suitable to be used in crystallization screens for a specific protein is possible. PMID:22949812

  5. Continuous Crystallization of Proteins in a Tubular Plug-Flow Crystallizer

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Protein crystals have many important applications in many fields, including pharmaceutics. Being more stable than other formulations, and having a high degree of purity and bioavailability, they are especially promising in the area of drug delivery. In this contribution, the development of a continuously operated tubular crystallizer for the production of protein crystals has been described. Using the model enzyme lysozyme, we successfully generated product particles ranging between 15 and 40 μm in size. At the reactor inlet, a protein solution was mixed with a crystallization agent solution to create high supersaturations required for nucleation. Along the tube, supersaturation was controlled using water baths that divided the crystallizer into a nucleation zone and a growth zone. Low flow rates minimized the effect of shear forces that may impede crystal growth. Simultaneously, a slug flow was implemented to ensure crystal transport through the reactor and to reduce the residence time distribution. PMID:25774098

  6. Colloidal graphenes as heterogeneous additives to enhance protein crystal yield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gully, Benjamin S.; Zou, Jianli; Cadby, Gemma; Passon, Daniel M.; Iyer, K. Swaminathan; Bond, Charles S.

    2012-08-01

    In the structural analysis of proteins via X-ray diffraction, a rate-limiting step is in favourable nucleation, a problematic obstacle in successful generation of protein crystals. Here graphene and graphene oxide were applied to protein crystallisation trials, offering improvements in crystalline output and nucleation.In the structural analysis of proteins via X-ray diffraction, a rate-limiting step is in favourable nucleation, a problematic obstacle in successful generation of protein crystals. Here graphene and graphene oxide were applied to protein crystallisation trials, offering improvements in crystalline output and nucleation. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c2nr31150j

  7. Cardiolipin, a critical determinant of mitochondrial carrier protein assembly and function

    PubMed Central

    Claypool, Steven M.

    2009-01-01

    The ability of phospholipids to act as determinants of membrane protein structure and function is probably best exemplified by cardiolipin (CL), the signature phospholipid of mitochondria. Early efforts to reconstitute individual respiratory complexes and members of the mitochondrial carrier family, most notably the ADP/ATP carrier (AAC), often demonstrated the importance of CL. Over the past decade, the significance of CL in the organization of components of the electron transport chain into higher order assemblies, termed respiratory supercomplexes, has been established. Another protein required for oxidative phosphorylation, AAC, has received comparatively little attention likely stemming from the fact that AACs were thought to function in isolation as either homodimers or monomers. Recently however, AACs have been demonstrated to interact with the respiratory supercomplex, other members of the mitochondrial carrier family, and the TIM23 translocon. Interestingly, many if not all of these interactions depend on CL. As the paradigm for the mitochondrial carrier family, these discoveries with AAC suggest that other members of this large group of important proteins may be more gregarious than anticipated. Moreover, it is proposed that AAC and perhaps additional members of the mitochondrial carrier family might represent downstream targets of pathological states involving alterations in CL. PMID:19422785

  8. Automated High Throughput Protein Crystallization Screening at Nanoliter Scale and Protein Structural Study on Lactate Dehydrogenase

    SciTech Connect

    Fenglei Li

    2006-08-09

    The purposes of our research were: (1) To develop an economical, easy to use, automated, high throughput system for large scale protein crystallization screening. (2) To develop a new protein crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and complete compatibility with high throughput screening system. (3) To determine the structure of lactate dehydrogenase complexed with NADH by x-ray protein crystallography to study its inherent structural properties. Firstly, we demonstrated large scale protein crystallization screening can be performed in a high throughput manner with low cost, easy operation. The overall system integrates liquid dispensing, crystallization and detection and serves as a whole solution to protein crystallization screening. The system can dispense protein and multiple different precipitants in nanoliter scale and in parallel. A new detection scheme, native fluorescence, has been developed in this system to form a two-detector system with a visible light detector for detecting protein crystallization screening results. This detection scheme has capability of eliminating common false positives by distinguishing protein crystals from inorganic crystals in a high throughput and non-destructive manner. The entire system from liquid dispensing, crystallization to crystal detection is essentially parallel, high throughput and compatible with automation. The system was successfully demonstrated by lysozyme crystallization screening. Secondly, we developed a new crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and compatibility with automation and high throughput. In this crystallization method, a gas permeable membrane is employed to achieve the gentle evaporation required by protein crystallization. Protein consumption is significantly reduced to nanoliter scale for each condition and thus permits exploring more conditions in a phase diagram for given amount of protein. In addition

  9. Membrane protein structures without crystals, by single particle electron cryomicroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R

    2015-01-01

    It is an exciting period in membrane protein structural biology with a number of medically important protein structures determined at a rapid pace. However, two major hurdles still remain in the structural biology of membrane proteins. One is the inability to obtain large amounts of protein for crystallization and the other is the failure to get well-diffracting crystals. With single particle electron cryomicroscopy, both these problems can be overcome and high-resolution structures of membrane proteins and other labile protein complexes can be obtained with very little protein and without the need for crystals. In this review, I highlight recent advances in electron microscopy, detectors and software, which have allowed determination of medium to high-resolution structures of membrane proteins and complexes that have been difficult to study by other structural biological techniques. PMID:26435463

  10. The plug-based nanovolume Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS)

    SciTech Connect

    Gerdts, Cory J.; Elliott, Mark; Lovell, Scott; Mixon, Mark B.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Staker, Bart L.; Nollert, Peter; Stewart, Lance

    2012-02-08

    The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) embodies a new semi-automated plug-based crystallization technology which enables nanolitre-volume screening of crystallization conditions in a plasticware format that allows crystals to be easily removed for traditional cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction data collection. Protein crystals grown in these plastic devices can be directly subjected to in situ X-ray diffraction studies. The MPCS integrates the formulation of crystallization cocktails with the preparation of the crystallization experiments. Within microfluidic Teflon tubing or the microfluidic circuitry of a plastic CrystalCard, {approx}10-20 nl volume droplets are generated, each representing a microbatch-style crystallization experiment with a different chemical composition. The entire protein sample is utilized in crystallization experiments. Sparse-matrix screening and chemical gradient screening can be combined in one comprehensive 'hybrid' crystallization trial. The technology lends itself well to optimization by high-granularity gradient screening using optimization reagents such as precipitation agents, ligands or cryoprotectants.