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Sample records for advanced protein crystal

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Definition study for temperature control in advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

    Some of the technical requirements for an expedient application of temperature control to advanced protein crystal growth activities are defined. Lysozome was used to study the effects of temperature ramping and temperature gradients for nucleation/dissolution and consecutive growth of sizable crystals and, to determine a prototype temperature program. The solubility study was conducted using equine serum albumin (ESA) which is an extremely stable, clinically important protein due to its capability to bind and transport many different small ions and molecules.

  5. 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.

  6. [Advances in effects of insecticidal crystal proteins released from transgenic Bt crops on soil ecology].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xue-Yong; Liu, Ning; Zhao, Man; Li, He; Zhou, Lang; Tang, Zong-Wen; Cao, Fei; Li, Wei

    2011-05-01

    With the large scale cultivation of transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal crystal proteins in the world, the problem of environmental safety caused by these Bt crops has received extensive attention. These insecticidal crystal proteins can be released into the soil continuously in the growing period of Bt plants. If their accumulation of the insecticidal crystal proteins exceeds consumption by insect larvae and degradation by the environmental factors, these insecticidal crystal proteins could constitute a hazard to non-target insects and soil microbiota. There are three main ways to release insecticidal crystal proteins into soil for Bt plants: root exudates, pollen falling, and crop reside returning. The Bt insecticidal crystal proteins released into soil can be adsorbed rapidly by active soil particles and the absorption equilibrium attained within 1-3 h. The adsorption protects Bt insecticidal crystal proteins against soil microbial degradation or enzyme degradation, which leads to remarkable prolong of the persistence of insecticidal activity. The change of soil microorganism species is an important index for evaluating the effect of Bt plants on soil ecology. The research showed that these insecticidal crystal proteins released by the Bt plant root exudates or Bt organism had no toxicity to the soil earthworms, nematodes, protozoa, bacteria and fungi; however, it could reduce the mycelium length of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and restrain AMF to form invasion unit. The influencing degree of Bt protein on soil enzyme activity varied with the releasing modes or growth period of Bt crops. Bt Cry1Ab protein can be taken up from soil by parts of following crops; however, different results were obtained with different commercial kits. To better understand the soil ecological evaluation about the insecticidal crystal proteins released from transgenic Bt crops, this review provides a comprehensive overview about the release

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Arginine deiminase: recent advances in discovery, crystal structure, and protein engineering for improved properties as an anti-tumor drug.

    PubMed

    Han, Rui-Zhi; Xu, Guo-Chao; Dong, Jin-Jun; Ni, Ye

    2016-06-01

    Arginine deiminase (ADI) is an important arginine-degrading enzyme with wide applications, in particular as an anti-cancer agent for the therapy of arginine-auxotrophic tumors. In recent years, novel ADIs with excellent properties have been identified from various organisms, and crystal structures of ADI were investigated. To satisfy the requirements of potential therapeutic applications, protein engineering has been performed to improve the activity and properties of ADIs. In this mini-review, we systematically summarized the latest progress on identification and crystal structure of ADIs, and protein engineering strategies for improved enzymatic properties, such as pH optimum, K m and k cat values, and thermostability. We also outlined the PEGylation of ADI for improved circulating half-life and immunogenicity, as well as their performance in clinical trials. Finally, perspectives on extracellular secretion and property improvement of ADI were discussed. PMID:27087524

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. (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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao

    stage before crystallization. (3) The beta-sheet crystallization kinetics in silk fibroin protein were measured using X-ray, FTIR and heat flow, and the structure reveals the formation mechanism of the silk crystal network. Avrami kinetics theories, which were established for studies of synthetic polymer crystal growth, were for the first time extended to investigate protein self-assembly in multiblock silk fibroin samples. The Avrami exponent, n, was close to two for all methods, indicating formation of beta sheet crystals in silk proteins is different from the 3-D spherulitic crystal growth found in most synthetic homopolymers. A microphase separation pattern after chymotrypsin enzyme biodegradation was shown in the protein structures using scanning electron microscopy. A model was then used to explain the crystallization of silk fibroin protein by analogy to block copolymers. (4) The effects of metal ions during the crystallization of silk fibroin was investigated using thermal analysis. Advanced thermal analysis methods were used to analyze the thermal protein-metallic ion interactions in silk fibroin proteins. Results show that K+ and Ca2+ metallic salts play different roles in silk fibroin proteins, which either reduce (K+) or increase (Ca2+ ) the glass transition (Tg) of pure silk protein and affect the thermal stability of this structure.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Advancements of vertically aligned liquid crystal displays.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pankaj; Jaggi, Chinky; Sharma, Vandna; Raina, Kuldeep Kumar

    2016-02-01

    This review describes the recent advancements in the field of the vertical aligned (VA) liquid crystal displays. The process and formation of different vertical alignment modes such as conventional VA, patterned VA, multi-domain VA, and polymer stabilised VA etc are widely discussed. Vertical alignment of liquid crystal due to nano particle dispersion in LC host, bifunctional PR-SAM formed by silane coupling reaction to oxide surfaces, azo dye etc., are also highlighted and discussed. Overall, the article highlights the advances in the research of vertical aligned liquid crystal in terms of their scientific and technological aspects. PMID:26800482

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. (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.

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  6. Advanced protein formulations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    It is well recognized that protein product development is far more challenging than that for small-molecule drugs. The major challenges include inherent sensitivity to different types of stresses during the drug product manufacturing process, high rate of physical and chemical degradation during long-term storage, and enhanced aggregation and/or viscosity at high protein concentrations. In the past decade, many novel formulation concepts and technologies have been or are being developed to address these product development challenges for proteins. These concepts and technologies include use of uncommon/combination of formulation stabilizers, conjugation or fusion with potential stabilizers, site-specific mutagenesis, and preparation of nontraditional types of dosage forms—semiaqueous solutions, nonfreeze-dried solid formulations, suspensions, and other emerging concepts. No one technology appears to be mature, ideal, and/or adequate to address all the challenges. These gaps will likely remain in the foreseeable future and need significant efforts for ultimate resolution. PMID:25858529

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. (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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. (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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Single-crystal superalloy drives turbine advances

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, K.

    1995-04-01

    In searching for ways to improve power-to-weight ratios and fuel efficiency, gas turbine engine manufacturers invest heavily in the development and testing of new alloys. Their goal is to find turbine airfoil materials that can handle the higher operating temperatures, increased component stresses, and faster rotational speeds that are needed to increase turbine performance. Major turbine engine manufacturers find they can achieve these objectives through ultra-high performance, single-crystal superalloys -- a group of nickel-base materials that exhibit outstanding strength and surface stability at temperatures up to 85{percent} of their melting points. One such superalloy is CMSX-4, co-engineered by ingot maker Cannon-Muskegon and turbine engine manufacturers Rolls-Royce and Allison Engine Company. It is currently being used in such applications as Allison`s advanced airfoil programs.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Advanced single crystal for SSME turbopumps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritzemeier, L. G.

    1989-01-01

    The objective of this program was to evaluate the influence of high thermal gradient casting, hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and alternate heat treatments on the microstructure and mechanical properties of a single crystal nickel base superalloy. The alloy chosen for the study was PWA 1480, a well characterized, commercial alloy which had previously been chosen as a candidate for the Space Shuttle Main Engine high pressure turbopump turbine blades. Microstructural characterization evaluated the influence of casting thermal gradient on dendrite arm spacing, casting porosity distribution and alloy homogeneity. Hot isostatic pressing was evaluated as a means of eliminating porosity as a preferred fatigue crack initiation site. The alternate heat treatment was chosen to improve hydrogen environment embrittlement resistance and for potential fatigue life improvement. Mechanical property evaluation was aimed primarily at determining improvements in low cycle and high cycle fatigue life due to the advanced processing methods. Statistically significant numbers of tests were conducted to quantitatively demonstrate life differences. High thermal gradient casting improves as-cast homogeneity, which facilitates solution heat treatment of PWA 1480 and provides a decrease in internal pore size, leading to increases in low cycle and high cycle fatigue lives.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. (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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. (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.

  6. (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.

  7. 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.

  8. Impact of Protein-Metal Ion Interactions on the Crystallization of Silk Fibroin Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao; Lu, Qiang; Kaplan, David; Cebe, Peggy

    2009-03-01

    Proteins can easily form bonds with a variety of metal ions, which provides many unique biological functions for the protein structures, and therefore controls the overall structural transformation of proteins. We use advanced thermal analysis methods such as temperature modulated differential scanning calorimetry and quasi-isothermal TMDSC, combined with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy, to investigate the protein-metallic ion interactions in Bombyx mori silk fibroin proteins. Silk samples were mixed with different metal ions (Ca^2+, K^+, Ma^2+, Na^+, Cu^2+, Mn^2+) with different mass ratios, and compared with the physical conditions in the silkworm gland. Results show that all metallic ions can directly affect the crystallization behavior and glass transition of silk fibroin. However, different ions tend to have different structural impact, including their role as plasticizer or anti-plasticizer. Detailed studies reveal important information allowing us better to understand the natural silk spinning and crystallization process.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Advanced piezoelectric single crystal based actuators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Xiaoning; Rehrig, Paul W.; Hackenberger, Wesley S.; Smith, Edward; Dong, Shuxiang; Viehland, Dwight; Moore, Jim, Jr.; Patrick, Brian

    2005-05-01

    TRS is developing new actuators based on single crystal piezoelectric materials such as Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)1-xTixO3 (PZN-PT) and Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)x-1TixO3 (PMN-PT) which exhibit very high piezoelectric coefficients (d33 = 1800-2200 pC/N) and electromechanical coupling factors (k33 > 0.9), respectively, for a variety of applications, including active vibration damping, active flow control, high precision positioning, ultrasonic motors, deformable mirrors, and adaptive optics. The d32 cut crystal plate actuators showed d32 ~ -1600 pC/N, inter-digital electroded (IDE) plate actuators showed effective d33 ~ 1100 pC/N. Single crystal stack actuators with stroke of 10 μm-100 μm were developed and tested at both room temperature and cryogenic temperatures. Flextensional single crystal piezoelectric actuators with either stack driver or plate driver were developed with stroke 70 μm - > 250 μm. For large stroke cryogenic actuation (> 1mm), a single crystal piezomotor was developed and tested at temperature of 77 K-300K and stroke of > 10mm and step resolution of 20 nm were achieved. In order to demonstrate the significance of developed single crystal actuators, modeling on single crystal piezoelectric deformable mirrors and helicopter flap control using single crystal actuators were conducted and the modeling results show that more than 20 wavelength wavefront error could be corrected by using the single crystal deformable mirrors and +/- 5.8 ° flap deflection will be obtained for a 36" flap using single crystal stack actuators.

  16. Advances in the directed evolution of proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Michael D.; Seelig, Burckhard

    2014-01-01

    Natural evolution has produced a great diversity of proteins that can be harnessed for numerous applications in biotechnology and pharmaceutical science. Commonly, specific applications require proteins to be tailored by protein engineering. Directed evolution is a type of protein engineering that yields proteins with the desired properties under well-defined conditions and in a practical time frame. While directed evolution has been employed for decades, recent creative developments enable the generation of proteins with previously inaccessible properties. Novel selection strategies, faster techniques, the inclusion of unnatural amino acids or modifications, and the symbiosis of rational design approaches and directed evolution continue to advance protein engineering. PMID:25309990

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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. NMR of Membrane Proteins: Beyond Crystals.

    PubMed

    Rajesh, Sundaresan; Overduin, Michael; Bonev, Boyan B

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are essential for the flow of signals, nutrients and energy between cells and between compartments of the cell. Their mechanisms can only be fully understood once the precise structures, dynamics and interactions involved are defined at atomic resolution. Through advances in solution and solid state NMR spectroscopy, this information is now available, as demonstrated by recent studies of stable peripheral and transmembrane proteins. Here we highlight recent cases of G-protein coupled receptors, outer membrane proteins, such as VDAC, phosphoinositide sensors, such as the FAPP-1 pleckstrin homology domain, and enzymes including the metalloproteinase MMP-12. The studies highlighted have resulted in the determination of the 3D structures, dynamical properties and interaction surfaces for membrane-associated proteins using advanced isotope labelling strategies, solubilisation systems and NMR experiments designed for very high field magnets. Solid state NMR offers further insights into the structure and multimeric assembly of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers, as well as into interactions with ligands and targets. Remaining challenges for wider application of NMR to membrane structural biology include the need for overexpression and purification systems for the production of isotope-labelled proteins with fragile folds, and the availability of only a few expensive perdeuterated detergents.Step changes that may transform the field include polymers, such as styrene maleic acid, which obviate the need for detergent altogether, and allow direct high yield purification from cells or membranes. Broader demand for NMR may be facilitated by MODA software, which instantly predicts membrane interactive residues that can subsequently be validated by NMR. In addition, recent developments in dynamic nuclear polarization NMR instrumentation offer a remarkable sensitivity enhancement from low molarity samples and cell surfaces. These advances illustrate the current

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Utilization of Protein Crystal Structures in Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishikawa, Kohki

    In industry, protein crystallography is used in mainly two technologies. One is structure-based drug design, and the other is structure-based enzyme engineering. Some successful cases together with recent advances are presented in this article. The cases include the development of an anti-influenza drug, and the introduction of engineered acid phosphatase to the manufacturing process of nucleotides used as umami seasoning.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Advances in Protein NMR Impacting Drug Discovery Provided by the NIGMS Protein Structure Initiative

    PubMed Central

    Montelione, Gaetano T.; Szyperski, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Rational drug design relies on three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules, especially proteins. Structural genomics high-throughput (HTP) structure determination platforms established by the NIH Protein Structure Initiative are uniquely suited to provide these structures. NMR plays a critical role since (i) many important protein targets do not form single crystals required for X-ray diffraction and (ii) NMR can provide valuable structural and dynamic information on proteins and their drug complexes that cannot be obtained with X-ray crystallography. In this article, recent advances of NMR driven by structural genomics projects are reviewed. These advances promise that future pharmaceutical discovery and design of drugs can increasingly rely on protocols for rapid and accurate NMR structure determination. PMID:20443167

  6. 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

  7. Polymer-Induced Heteronucleation for Protein Single Crystal Growth: Structural Elucidation of Bovine Liver Catalase and Concanavalin A Forms

    SciTech Connect

    Foroughi, Leila M.; Kang, You-Na; Matzger, Adam J.

    2012-05-09

    Obtaining single crystals for X-ray diffraction remains a major bottleneck in structural biology; when existing crystal growth methods fail to yield suitable crystals, often the target rather than the crystallization approach is reconsidered. Here we demonstrate that polymer-induced heteronucleation, a powerful technique that has been used for small molecule crystallization form discovery, can be applied to protein crystallization by optimizing the heteronucleant composition and crystallization formats for crystallizing a wide range of protein targets. Applying these advances to two benchmark proteins resulted in dramatically increased crystal size, enabling structure determination, for a half century old form of bovine liver catalase (BLC) that had previously only been characterized by electron microscopy, and the discovery of two new forms of concanavalin A (conA) from the Jack bean and accompanying structural elucidation of one of these forms.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Recent advances in mammalian protein production

    PubMed Central

    Bandaranayake, Ashok D.; Almo, Steven C.

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian protein production platforms have had a profound impact in many areas of basic and applied research, and an increasing number of blockbuster drugs are recombinant mammalian proteins. With global sales of these drugs exceeding US$120 billion per year, both industry and academic research groups continue to develop cost effective methods for producing mammalian proteins to support preclinical and clinical evaluations of potential therapeutics. While a wide range of platforms have been successfully exploited for laboratory use, the bulk of recent biologics have been produced in mammalian cell lines due to the requirement for post translational modification and the biosynthetic complexity of the target proteins. In this review we highlight the range of mammalian expression platforms available for recombinant protein production, as well as advances in technologies for the rapid and efficient selection of highly productive clones. PMID:24316512

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Protein Innovations Advance Drug Treatments, Skin Care

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2012-01-01

    Dan Carter carefully layered the sheets of tracing paper on the light box. On each sheet were renderings of the atomic components of an essential human protein, one whose structure had long been a mystery. With each layer Carter laid down, a never-before-seen image became clearer. Carter joined NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center in 1985 and began exploring processes of protein crystal growth in space. By bouncing intense X-rays off the crystals, researchers can determine the electron densities around the thousands of atoms forming the protein molecules, unveiling their atomic structures. Cultivating crystals of sufficient quality on Earth was problematic; the microgravity conditions of space were far more accommodating. At the time, only a few hundred protein structures had been mapped, and the methods were time consuming and tedious. Carter hoped his work would help reveal the structure of human serum albumin, a major protein in the human circulatory system responsible for ferrying numerous small molecules in the blood. More was at stake than scientific curiosity. Albumin has a high affinity for most of the world s pharmaceuticals, Carter explains, and its interaction with drugs can change their safety and efficacy. When a medication enters the bloodstream a cancer chemotherapy drug, for example a majority of it can bind with albumin, leaving only a small percentage active for treatment. How a drug interacts with albumin can influence considerations like the necessary effective dosage, playing a significant role in the design and application of therapeutic measures. In spite of numerous difficulties, including having no access to microgravity following the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the image Carter had hoped to see was finally clarifying. In 1988, his lab had acquired specialized X-ray and detection equipment a tipping point. Carter and his colleagues began to piece together albumin s portrait, the formation of its electron densities coalescing on

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Transparent Cell for Protein Crystallization under Low Applied Voltage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakamatsu, Takashi; Ohnishi, Yuuki

    2011-04-01

    A transparent cell with the ability to apply a uniform internal electric field has been designed for protein crystallization. The parallel configuration of two plate electrodes coated with transparent conductive films provides a cell where the growth of protein crystals can be observed. In addition, the electrodes allow the formation of parallel electric fields in the protein solution, which can be applied at a very low voltage so that the electrolysis of the solution does not occur.

  10. Recent Advances in Colloidal and Interfacial Phenomena Involving Liquid Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Yiqun; Abbott, Nicholas L.

    2011-01-01

    This article describes recent advances in several areas of research involving the interfacial ordering of liquid crystals (LCs). The first advance revolves around the ordering of LCs at bio/chemically functionalized surfaces. Whereas the majority of past studies of surface-induced ordering of LCs have involved surfaces of solids that present a limited diversity of chemical functional groups (surfaces at which van der Waals forces dominate surface-induced ordering), recent studies have moved to investigate the ordering of LCs on chemically complex surfaces. For example, surfaces decorated with biomolecules (e.g. oligopeptides and proteins) and transition metal ions have been investigated, leading to an understanding of the roles that metal-ligand coordination interactions, electrical double-layers, acid-base interactions, and hydrogen bonding can have on the interfacial ordering of LCs. The opportunity to create chemically-responsive LCs capable of undergoing ordering transitions in the presence of targeted molecular events (e.g., ligand exchange around a metal center) has emerged from these fundamental studies. A second advance has focused on investigations of the ordering of LCs at interfaces with immiscible isotropic fluids, particularly water. In contrast to prior studies of surface-induced ordering of LCs on solid surfaces, LC- aqueous interfaces are deformable and molecules at these interfaces exhibit high levels of mobility and thus can reorganize in response to changes in interfacial environment. A range of fundamental investigations involving these LC-aqueous interfaces have revealed that (i) the spatial and temporal characteristics of assemblies formed from biomolecular interactions can be reported by surface-driven ordering transitions in the LCs, (ii) the interfacial phase behaviour of molecules and colloids can be coupled to (and manipulated via) the ordering (and nematic elasticity) of LCs, and (iii) confinement of LCs leads to unanticipated size

  11. Inorganic and protein crystal growth - Similarities and differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, F.

    1986-01-01

    Transport and interface kinetic concepts for the design and control of inorganic crystal growth experiments are reviewed, and their applications and limitations in protein crystal growth are considered. It is suggested that the interfacial concentration gradients are steeper for faster crystallization, and that the interfacial concentration distributions for the protein and the precipitant can differ significantly. Results show that uniformity in crystal composition and steady-state conditions in growth kinetics are favored by larger sample size, since surface-tension gradients drive strong in microgravity experiments and in small samples on earth.

  12. Automating the application of smart materials for protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25760603

  13. Protein Crystal Movements and Fluid Flows During Microgravity Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boggon, Titus J.; Chayen, Naomi E.; Snell, Edward H.; Dong, Jun; Lautenschlager, Peter; Potthast, Lothar; Siddons, D. Peter; Stojanoff, Vivian; Gordon, Elspeth; Thompson, Andrew W.; Zagalsky, Peter F.; Bi, Ru-Chang; Helliwell, John R.

    1997-01-01

    The growth of protein crystals suitable for X-ray crystal structure analysis is an important topic. The methods of protein crystal growth are under increasing study whereby different methods are being compared via diagnostic monitoring including Charge Coupled Device (CCD) video and interferometry. The quality (perfection) of protein crystals is now being evaluated by mosaicity analysis (rocking curves) and X-ray topographic images as well as the diffraction resolution limit and overall data quality. Choice of a liquid-liquid linear crystal growth geometry and microgravity can yield a spatial stability of growing crystals and fluid, as seen in protein crystallization experiments on the unmanned platform EURICA. A review is given here of existing results and experience over several microgravity missions. The results include CCD video as well as interferometry during the mission, followed, on return to earth, by rocking curve experiments and full X-ray data collection on LMS and earth control lysozyme crystals. Diffraction data recorded from LMS and ground control apocrustacyanin C(sub 1) crystals are also described.

  14. Real-time observation of nonclassical protein crystallization kinetics.

    PubMed

    Sauter, Andrea; Roosen-Runge, Felix; Zhang, Fajun; Lotze, Gudrun; Jacobs, Robert M J; Schreiber, Frank

    2015-02-01

    We present a real-time study of protein crystallization of bovine β-lactoglobulin in the presence of CdCl(2) using small-angle X-ray scattering and optical microscopy. From observing the crystallization kinetics, we propose the following multistep crystallization mechanism that is consistent with our data. In the first step, an intermediate phase is formed, followed by the nucleation of crystals within the intermediate phase. During this period, the number of crystals increases with time, but the crystal growth is slowed down by the surrounding dense intermediate phase due to the low mobility. In the next step, the intermediate phase is consumed by nucleation and slow growth, and the crystals are exposed to the dilute phase. In this stage, the number of crystals becomes nearly constant, whereas the crystals grow rapidly due to access to the free protein molecules in the dilute phase. This real-time study not only provides evidence for a two-step nucleation process for protein crystallization but also elucidates the role and the structural signature of the metastable intermediate phase in this process. PMID:25569484

  15. Flow-induced protein crystallization: Macroscopic effects on 2D crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, James; Posada, David; Hirsa, Amir; Lopez, Juan

    2012-11-01

    Proteins must first be crystallized before their molecular structure can be studied in detail. However, crystallizing protein is a challenging task which is often met with limited success. Although 2-D protein crystals at the air/water interface are usually obtained under quiescent conditions, it was recently shown that crystallization can be enhanced by a shearing flow. Here we examine the relationship between Reynolds number and the crystal growth process using the deep-channel surface viscometer geometry. It consists of an annular region bounded by stationary inner and outer cylinders and driven by a constant rotation of the floor. The interfacial velocity measurements are compared to Navier-Stokes computations with the Boussinesq-Scriven surface model. The interfacial film is lifted onto a solid substrate, and the protein crystals are observed via optical and atomic force microscopy. For a particular protein surface concentration, a Reynolds number threshold has been identified for flow-induced crystallization. This flow geometry also allows for the determination of the surface shear viscosity, which provides a quantitative measure of the mesoscale interactions associated with protein crystallization.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

    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. PMID:22833181

  17. Nucleation and Crystallization of Globular Proteins: What we Know and What is Missing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, F.; Vekilov, P. G.; Muschol, M.; Thomas, B. R.

    1996-01-01

    Recently. much progress has been made in understanding the nucleation and crystallization of globular proteins, including the formation of compositional and structural crystal defects, Insight into the interactions of (screened) protein macro-ions in solution, obtained from light scattering, small angle X-ray scattering and osmotic pressure studies. can guide the search for crystallization conditions. These studies show that the nucleation of globular proteins is governed by the same principles as that of small molecules. However, failure to account for direct and indirect (hydrodynamic) protein interactions in the solutions results in unrealistic aggregation scenarios. Microscopic studies of numerous proteins reveal that crystals grow by the attachment of growth units through the same layer-spreading mechanisms as inorganic crystals. Investigations of the growth kinetics of hen-egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) reveal non-steady behavior under steady external conditions. Long-term variations in growth rates are due to changes in step-originating dislocation groups. Fluctuations on a shorter timescale reflect the non-linear dynamics of layer growth that results from the interplay between interfacial kinetics and bulk transport. Systematic gel electrophoretic analyses suggest that most HEWL crystallization studies have been performed with material containing other proteins at percent levels. Yet, sub-percent levels of protein impurities impede growth step propagation and play a role in the formation of structural/compositional inhomogeneities. In crystal growth from highly purified HEWL solutions, however, such inhomogeneities are much weaker and form only in response to unusually large changes in growth conditions. Equally important for connecting growth conditions to crystal perfection and diffraction resolution are recent advances in structural characterization through high-resolution Bragg reflection profiling and X-ray topography.

  18. A Dominant Factor for Structural Classification of Protein Crystals.

    PubMed

    Qi, Fei; Fudo, Satoshi; Neya, Saburo; Hoshino, Tyuji

    2015-08-24

    With the increasing number of solved protein crystal structures, much information on protein shape and atom geometry has become available. It is of great interest to know the structural diversity for a single kind of protein. Our preliminary study suggested that multiple crystal structures of a single kind of protein can be classified into several groups from the viewpoint of structural similarity. In order to broadly examine this finding, cluster analysis was applied to the crystal structures of hemoglobin (Hb), myoglobin (Mb), human serum albumin (HSA), hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL), and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease (HIV-1 PR), downloaded from the Protein Data Bank (PDB). As a result of classification by cluster analysis, 146 crystal structures of Hb were separated into five groups. The crystal structures of Mb (n = 284), HEWL (n = 336), HSA (n = 63), and HIV-1 PR (n = 488) were separated into six, five, three, and six groups, respectively. It was found that a major factor causing these structural separations is the space group of crystals and that crystallizing agents have an influence on the crystal structures. Amino acid mutation is a minor factor for the separation because no obvious point mutation making a specific cluster group was observed for the five kinds of proteins. In the classification of Hb and Mb, the species of protein source such as humans, rabbits, and mice is another significant factor. When the difference in amino sequence is large among species, the species of protein source is the primary factor causing cluster separation in the classification of crystal structures. PMID:26230289

  19. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, Joseph D.; Baird, James K.; Coates, Leighton; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan M.; Hodge, Teresa A.; Huang, Sijay

    2015-03-30

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for the growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. We report that these include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations.

  20. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography.

    PubMed

    Ng, Joseph D; Baird, James K; Coates, Leighton; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan M; Hodge, Teresa A; Huang, Sijay

    2015-04-01

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for the growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. These include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations. PMID:25849493

  1. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ng, Joseph D.; Baird, James K.; Coates, Leighton; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan M.; Hodge, Teresa A.; Huang, Sijay

    2015-03-30

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for themore » growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. We report that these include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations.« less

  2. In vivo protein crystallization opens new routes in structural biology

    PubMed Central

    Koopmann, Rudolf; Cupelli, Karolina; Redecke, Lars; Nass, Karol; DePonte, Daniel P; White, Thomas A; Stellato, Francesco; Rehders, Dirk; Liang, Mengning; Andreasson, Jakob; Aquila, Andrew; Bajt, Sasa; Barthelmess, Miriam; Barty, Anton; Bogan, Michael J; Bostedt, Christoph; Boutet, Sébastien; Bozek, John D; Caleman, Carl; Coppola, Nicola; Davidsson, Jan; Doak, R Bruce; Ekeberg, Tomas; Epp, Sascha W; Erk, Benjamin; Fleckenstein, Holger; Foucar, Lutz; Graafsma, Heinz; Gumprecht, Lars; Hajdu, Janos; Hampton, Christina Y; Hartmann, Andreas; Hartmann, Robert; Hauser, Günter; Hirsemann, Helmut; Holl, Peter; Hunter, Mark S; Kassemeyer, Stephan; Kirian, Richard A; Lomb, Lukas; Maia, Filipe R N C; Kimmel, Nils; Martin, Andrew V; Messerschmidt, Marc; Reich, Christian; Rolles, Daniel; Rudek, Benedikt; Rudenko, Artem; Schlichting, Ilme; Schulz, Joachim; Seibert, M Marvin; Shoeman, Robert L; Sierra, Raymond G; Soltau, Heike; Stern, Stephan; Strüder, Lothar; Timneanu, Nicusor; Ullrich, Joachim; Wang, Xiaoyu; Weidenspointner, Georg; Weierstall, Uwe; Williams, Garth J; Wunderer, Cornelia B; Fromme, Petra; Spence, John C H; Stehle, Thilo; Chapman, Henry N; Betzel, Christian; Duszenko, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Protein crystallization in cells has been observed several times in nature. However, owing to their small size these crystals have not yet been used for X-ray crystallographic analysis. We prepared nano-sized in vivo–grown crystals of Trypanosoma brucei enzymes and applied the emerging method of free-electron laser-based serial femtosecond crystallography to record interpretable diffraction data. This combined approach will open new opportunities in structural systems biology. PMID:22286384

  3. Spatiotemporal development of soaked protein crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizutani, Ryuta; Shimizu, Yusuke; Saiga, Rino; Ueno, Go; Nakamura, Yuki; Takeuchi, Akihisa; Uesugi, Kentaro; Suzuki, Yoshio

    2014-07-01

    Crystal soaking is widely performed in biological crystallography. This paper reports time-resolved X-ray crystallographic and microtomographic analyses of tetragonal crystals of chicken egg-white lysozyme soaked in mother liquor containing potassium hexachloroplatinate. The microtomographic analysis showed that X-ray attenuation spread from the superficial layer of the crystal and then to the crystal core. The crystallographic analyses indicated that platinum sites can be classified into two groups from the temporal development of the electron densities. A soaking process consisting of binding-rate-driven and equilibrium-driven layers is proposed to describe these results. This study suggests that the composition of chemical and structural species resulting from the soaking process varies depending on the position in the crystal.

  4. Pathways of Transport Protein Evolution: Recent Advances

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Vincent H.; Lee, Jong-Hoon; Silverio, Abe; Chan, Henry; Gomolplitinant, Kenny M.; Povolotsky, Tatyana L.; Orlova, Ekaterina; Sun, Eric I.; Welliver, Carl H.; Saier, Milton H.

    2014-01-01

    We herein report recent advances in our understanding of transport protein evolution. The Drug-Metabolite Transporter (DMT) superfamily (TC# 2.A.7) arose from a 2TMS precursor to give 4TMS proteins which then added one and duplicated to give 10. The proposed pathway is 2 –> 4 –> 5 –> 10. This superfamily provides a rare example where all proposed topological intermediates in this evolutionary pathway have been identified in current protein databases. Another family, the Oligopeptide Transporter (OPT) family (TC# 2.A.67), also started with a 2 TMS peptide precursor, but it followed the pathway: Only 16 and 17 TMS OPT family members have been identified in current databases. The TRIC family of K+ channels, characterized in animals, arose via the pathway: where the seventh TMS was added c-terminally to the 6 TMS precursor that resulted from a 3 TMS duplication. Surprisingly, animal TRIC channels proved to have numerous 7 TMS homologues in prokaryotes, none of which had been identified previously. We found that two families of integral membrane proteins gave rise to multiple current topological types. Members of the SdpC killer factor immunity protein family, SdpI (TC# 9.A.32) probably arose via the pathway: while members of the Heme Handling Protein (HHP) Family (TC# 9.B.14) arose via the pathway: Predictions are also made for an evolutionary pathway giving rise to the seven topological types of P-type ATPases so far identified in the P-ATPase superfamily. Finally, the ubiquitous CDF carriers (TC# 1.A.4) of 6TMSs probably gave rise to CRAC channels of 4TMSs by loss of the first two TMSs an unusual example of retroevolution. PMID:21194372

  5. 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.

  6. Protein Crystal Movements and Fluid Flows During Microgravity Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boggon, Titus J.; Chayen, Naomi E.; Snell, Edward H.; Dong, Jun; Lautenschlager, Peter; Potthast, Lothar; Siddons, D. Peter; Stojanoff, Vivian; Gordon, Elspeth; Thompson, Andrew W.; Zagalsky, Peter F.; Bi, Ru-Chang; Helliwell, John R.

    1998-01-01

    The growth of protein crystals suitable for x-ray crystal structure analysis is an important topic. The quality (perfection) of protein crystals is now being evaluated by mosaicity analysis (rocking curves) and x-ray topographic images as well as the diffraction resolution limit and overall data quality. In yet another study, use of hanging drop vapour diffusion geometry on the IML-2 shuttle mission showed, again via CCD video monitoring, growing apocrustacyanin C(sub 1) protein crystal executing near cyclic movement, reminiscent of Marangoni convection flow of fluid, the crystals serving as "markers" of the fluid flow. A review is given here of existing results and experience over several microgravity missions. Some comment is given on gel protein crystal growth in attempts to 'mimic' the benefits of microgravity on Earth. Finally, the recent new results from our experiments on the shuttle mission LMS are described. These results include CCD video as well as interferometry during the mission, followed, on return to Earth, by reciprocal space mapping at the NSLS, Brookhaven, and full X-ray data collection on LMS and Earth control lysozyme crystals. Diffraction data recorded from LMS and ground control apocrustacyanin C(sub 1) crystals are also described.

  7. Calcium distribution in globoid crystals of cucurbita cotyledon protein bodies.

    PubMed

    Lott, J N; Spitzer, E; Vollmer, C M

    1979-05-01

    Energy-dispersive x-ray analysis was used to investigate the location of globoid crystals with relatively high Ca levels within cotyledons of Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita andreana. The small globoid crystals in both upper and lower epidermal cells commonly contained Ca. Ca was present in globoid crystals of all provascular regions with the exception of the very small provascular regions of C. maxima. In C. maxima and C. mixta cotyledons, some cases were observed where Ca was found in the globoid crystals of the first layer of mesophyll cells surrounding the provascular region, but in general Ca was absent from globoid crystals of palisade and spongy mesophyll cells. In C. andreana, globoid crystals of palisade and spongy mesophyll cells commonly contained at least some Ca. Cell position and cell type are factors affecting the Ca content of globoid crystals in protein bodies. PMID:16660825

  8. Teaching Protein Crystallization by the Gel Acupuncture Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Moreno, Abel; Otálora, F.; Rondón, D.; Viedma, C.; Zauscher, F.

    1998-04-01

    This paper provides a detailed description of a simple method to obtain large protein single crystals inside glass capillaries. The method is based upon the properties of gels, which are used to hold capillaries containing the protein solution, and also to act as the mass transport medium for the precipitating agent. Recipes for a set of selected experiments bringing a hands-on experience on the crystallization of different soluble proteins are supplied. These experiments are inexpensive and straightforward enough for teaching at the undergraduate level that large biological macromolecules that are the gate our structural studies and drug design can be crystallized. Using simple equations accounting for the solubility of proteins and for the nucleation process, the experimental results are explained to provide a rational approach to the problem. In addition, because of the nature of the crystallization method which is based on diffusion-reactions systems, the student is introduced to the meaning of self-organization.

  9. Chamber Design For Slow Nucleation Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc Lee

    1995-01-01

    Multiple-chamber dialysis apparatus grows protein crystals on Earth or in microgravity with minimum of intervention by technician. Use of multiple chambers provides gradation of nucleation and growth rates.

  10. Imaging and diffraction of protein crystallization using TEM.

    PubMed

    Gomery, Kathryn; Humphrey, Elaine C; Herring, Rodney

    2013-06-01

    Structural biology relies on good-quality protein crystals in order for structure determination. Many factors affect the growth process of a protein crystal including the way it nucleates and the types of damage and contamination during its growth. Although the nucleation process and quality of a crystal is vital to structure determination, they are both under-studied areas of research. Our research begins to explore ways of measuring the quality of protein crystals, using TEM, thus overcoming the problems associated with viewing wet specimens in a vacuum. Our current understanding of nucleation is that it is a two-step mechanism involving the formation of nuclei from dense liquid clusters; however; it is still unclear whether nuclei first start as amorphous aggregates or as crystalline lattices. Potentially, electron diffraction may be capable of uncovering this process. Using TEM imaging and diffraction of lysozyme as a model protein crystal, we report the internal two-dimensional strain and the density of crystallites in a protein crystal, at a resolution never seen before. The TEM diffraction shows unique features of crystal mosaicity that can be directly correlated to TEM images. PMID:23250893

  11. Statistical Analysis of Crystallization Database Links Protein Physico-Chemical Features with Crystallization Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Fusco, Diana; Barnum, Timothy J.; Bruno, Andrew E.; Luft, Joseph R.; Snell, Edward H.; Mukherjee, Sayan; Charbonneau, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    X-ray crystallography is the predominant method for obtaining atomic-scale information about biological macromolecules. Despite the success of the technique, obtaining well diffracting crystals still critically limits going from protein to structure. In practice, the crystallization process proceeds through knowledge-informed empiricism. Better physico-chemical understanding remains elusive because of the large number of variables involved, hence little guidance is available to systematically identify solution conditions that promote crystallization. To help determine relationships between macromolecular properties and their crystallization propensity, we have trained statistical models on samples for 182 proteins supplied by the Northeast Structural Genomics consortium. Gaussian processes, which capture trends beyond the reach of linear statistical models, distinguish between two main physico-chemical mechanisms driving crystallization. One is characterized by low levels of side chain entropy and has been extensively reported in the literature. The other identifies specific electrostatic interactions not previously described in the crystallization context. Because evidence for two distinct mechanisms can be gleaned both from crystal contacts and from solution conditions leading to successful crystallization, the model offers future avenues for optimizing crystallization screens based on partial structural information. The availability of crystallization data coupled with structural outcomes analyzed through state-of-the-art statistical models may thus guide macromolecular crystallization toward a more rational basis. PMID:24988076

  12. Advances in membrane protein crystallography: in situ and in meso data collection

    SciTech Connect

    Weyand, Simone; Tate, Christopher G.

    2015-05-23

    Membrane protein structural biology has made tremendous advances over the last decade but there are still many challenges associated with crystallization, data collection and structure determination. Two independent groups, Axford et al. [(2015), Acta Cryst. D71, 1228–1237] and Huang et al. [(2015), Acta Cryst. D71, 1238–1256], have published methods that make a major contribution to addressing these challenges.

  13. Inorganic and Protein Crystal Assembly in Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.

    2005-01-01

    The basic kinetic and thermodynamic concepts of crystal growth will be revisited in view of recent AFM and interferometric findings. These concepts are as follows: 1) The Kossel crystal model that allows only one kink type on the crystal surface. The modern theory is developed overwhelmingly for the Kessel model; 2) Presumption that intensive step fluctuations maintain kink density sufficiently high to allow applicability of Gibbs-Thomson law; 3) Common experience that unlimited step bunching (morphological instability) during layer growth from solutions and supercooled melts always takes place if the step flow direction coincides with that of the fluid.

  14. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth HIV Reverse Transcriptase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    HIV Reverse Transcriptase crystals grown during the USML-1 (STS-50) mission using Commercial Refrigerator/Incubator Module (CR/IM) at 4 degrees C and the Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDA). Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme responsible for copying the nucleic acid genome of the AIDS virus from RNA to DNA. Studies indicated that the space-grown crystals were larger and better ordered (beyond 4 angstroms) than were comparable Earth-grown crystals. Principal Investigators were Charles Bugg and Larry DeLucas.

  15. The role of mass transport in protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Otálora, Fermín; García-Caballero, Alfonso

    2016-02-01

    Mass transport takes place within the mesoscopic to macroscopic scale range and plays a key role in crystal growth that may affect the result of the crystallization experiment. The influence of mass transport is different depending on the crystallization technique employed, essentially because each technique reaches supersaturation in its own unique way. In the case of batch experiments, there are some complex phenomena that take place at the interface between solutions upon mixing. These transport instabilities may drastically affect the reproducibility of crystallization experiments, and different outcomes may be obtained depending on whether or not the drop is homogenized. In diffusion experiments with aqueous solutions, evaporation leads to fascinating transport phenomena. When a drop starts to evaporate, there is an increase in concentration near the interface between the drop and the air until a nucleation event eventually takes place. Upon growth, the weight of the floating crystal overcomes the surface tension and the crystal falls to the bottom of the drop. The very growth of the crystal then triggers convective flow and inhomogeneities in supersaturation values in the drop owing to buoyancy of the lighter concentration-depleted solution surrounding the crystal. Finally, the counter-diffusion technique works if, and only if, diffusive mass transport is assured. The technique relies on the propagation of a supersaturation wave that moves across the elongated protein chamber and is the result of the coupling of reaction (crystallization) and diffusion. The goal of this review is to convince protein crystal growers that in spite of the small volume of the typical protein crystallization setup, transport plays a key role in the crystal quality, size and phase in both screening and optimization experiments. PMID:26841759

  16. Single-drop optimization of protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Arne; Dierks, Karsten; Hilterhaus, Dierk; Klupsch, Thomas; Mühlig, Peter; Kleesiek, Jens; Schöpflin, Robert; Einspahr, Howard; Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Betzel, Christian

    2012-01-01

    A completely new crystal-growth device has been developed that permits charting a course across the phase diagram to produce crystalline samples optimized for diffraction experiments. The utility of the device is demonstrated for the production of crystals for the traditional X-ray diffraction data-collection experiment, of microcrystals optimal for data-collection experiments at a modern microbeam insertion-device synchrotron beamline and of nanocrystals required for data collection on an X-ray laser beamline. PMID:22869140

  17. Single-drop optimization of protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Arne; Dierks, Karsten; Hilterhaus, Dierk; Klupsch, Thomas; Mühlig, Peter; Kleesiek, Jens; Schöpflin, Robert; Einspahr, Howard; Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Betzel, Christian

    2012-08-01

    A completely new crystal-growth device has been developed that permits charting a course across the phase diagram to produce crystalline samples optimized for diffraction experiments. The utility of the device is demonstrated for the production of crystals for the traditional X-ray diffraction data-collection experiment, of microcrystals optimal for data-collection experiments at a modern microbeam insertion-device synchrotron beamline and of nanocrystals required for data collection on an X-ray laser beamline. PMID:22869140

  18. Protein crystal growth in microgravity: Temperature induced large scale crystallization of insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Long, Marianna M.; Delucas, Larry J.; Smith, C.; Carson, M.; Moore, K.; Harrington, Michael D.; Pillion, D. J.; Bishop, S. P.; Rosenblum, W. M.; Naumann, R. J.

    1994-01-01

    One of the major stumbling blocks that prevents rapid structure determination using x-ray crystallography is macro-molecular crystal growth. There are many examples where crystallization takes longer than structure determination. In some cases, it is impossible to grow useful crystals on earth. Recent experiments conducted in conjuction with NASA on various Space Shuttle missions have demonstrated that protein crystals often grow larger and display better internal molecular order than their earth-grown counterparts. This paper reports results from three Shuttle flights using the Protein Crystallization Facility (PCF). The PCF hardware produced large, high-quality insulin crystals by using a temperature change as the sole means to affect protein solubility and thus, crystallization. The facility consists of cylinders/containers with volumes of 500, 200, 100, and 50 ml. Data from the three Shuttle flights demonstrated that larger, higher resolution crystals (as evidenced by x-ray diffraction data) were obtained from the microgravity experiments when compared to earth-grown crystals.

  19. Containerless protein crystallization in floating drops: application to crystal growth monitoring under reduced nucleation conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorber, Bernard; Giegé, Richard

    1996-10-01

    A micromethod was developed for the batch crystallization of proteins under conditions were the solution has no contact with the container walls. Drops of crystallization solutions (5 to 100 μl) are placed at the interface between two layers of inert and non-miscible silicone fluids contained in square glass or plastic cuvettes. The densities of the fluids are either lower or higher than those of the major precipitating agents of macromolecules, including aqueous solutions containing salts, polyethylene glycols or alcohols. Several proteins and a spherical plant virus were crystallized in the temperature range 4°C-20°C using this set-up. A thermostated device was built for the dynamic control of the temperature of crystallization drops and the monitoring of crystal growth by video-microscopy. In all cases, the habit of the crystals grown in floating drops are identical to those of controls grown in sealed glass tubes without silicone fluid. The comparison of the number of crystals in drops kept under one layer of fluid and in floating drops of the same volume indicates that heterogeneous nucleation is minimized when protein crystallization is performed in floating drops. The advantages and limitations of this novel containerless crystallization method are discussed.

  20. Engineering nanoparticle-protein associations for protein crystal nucleation and nanoparticle arrangement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit, Denise N.

    Engineering the nanoparticle - protein association offers a new way to form protein crystals as well as new approaches for arrangement of nanoparticles. Central to this control is the nanoparticle surface. By conjugating polymers on the surface with controlled molecular weights many properties of the nanoparticle can be changed including its size, stability in buffers and the association of proteins with its surface. Large molecular weight poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coatings allow for weak associations between proteins and nanoparticles. These interactions can lead to changes in how proteins crystallize. In particular, they decrease the time to nucleation and expand the range of conditions over which protein crystals form. Interestingly, when PEG chain lengths are too short then protein association is minimized and these effects are not observed. One important feature of protein crystals nucleated with nanoparticles is that the nanoparticles are incorporated into the crystals. What results are nanoparticles placed at well-defined distances in composite protein-nanoparticle crystals. Crystals on the size scale of 10 - 100 micrometers exhibit optical absorbance, fluorescence and super paramagnetic behavior derivative from the incorporated nanomaterials. The arrangement of nanoparticles into three dimensional arrays also gives rise to new and interesting physical and chemical properties, such as fluorescence enhancement and varied magnetic response. In addition, anisotropic nanomaterials aligned throughout the composite crystal have polarization dependent optical properties.

  1. Three-Dimensional Crystals of Membrane Proteins: Bacteriorhodopsin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Hartmut; Oesterhelt, Dieter

    1980-03-01

    The intrinsic membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin has been crystallized by salt precipitation after solubilization by octyl glucoside. Two different crystal forms were obtained, depending on the nature of the salt used and the pH. Needles formed in the presence of sodium phosphate and in ammonium sulfate solutions above pH 4.8. Cubes appeared in sodium citrate solutions or ammonium sulfate. Unlike the cubic crystals, the birefringent needles showed strong linear dichroism, which allowed determination of the orientation of the chromophore's transition moment. The procedure described here may be of general use in crystallographic studies of membrane proteins.

  2. The effects of microgravity on protein crystallization: evidence for concentration gradients around growing crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPherson, Alexander; Malkin, Alexander J.; Kuznetsov, Yurii G.; Koszelak, Stan; Wells, Mark; Jenkins, Greg; Howard, Jeff; Lawson, Greg

    1999-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) investigations have revealed that macromolecular crystals, during their growth, incorporate an extensive array of impurities. These vary from individual molecules to large particles, and microcrystals in the micron size range. AFM, along with X-ray topology, has further shown that the density of defects and faults in most macromolecular crystals is very high in comparison with conventional crystals. The high defect density is a consequence of the incorporation of impurities, misoriented nutrient molecules, and aggregates of molecules. High defect and impurity density, contributes to a deterioration of both the mechanical and the diffraction properties of crystals. In microgravity, access by impurities and aggregates to growing crystal surfaces is restricted due to altered fluid transport properties. We designed, and have now constructed an instrument, the observable protein crystal growth apparatus (OPCGA) that employs a fused optics, phase shift, Mach-Zehnder interferometer to analyze the fluid environment around growing crystals. Using this device, which will ultimately be employed on the international space station, we have, in thin cells on earth, succeeded in directly visualizing concentration gradients around growing protein crystals. This provides the first direct evidence that quasi-stable depletion zones formed around growing crystals in space may explain the improved quality of macromolecular crystals grown in microgravity. Further application of the interferometric technique will allow us to quantitatively describe the shapes, extent, and magnitudes of the concentration gradients and to evaluate their degree of stability.

  3. Invariant patterns in crystal lattices: Implications for protein folding algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    HART,WILLIAM E.; ISTRAIL,SORIN

    2000-06-01

    Crystal lattices are infinite periodic graphs that occur naturally in a variety of geometries and which are of fundamental importance in polymer science. Discrete models of protein folding use crystal lattices to define the space of protein conformations. Because various crystal lattices provide discretizations of the same physical phenomenon, it is reasonable to expect that there will exist invariants across lattices related to fundamental properties of the protein folding process. This paper considers whether performance-guaranteed approximability is such an invariant for HP lattice models. The authors define a master approximation algorithm that has provable performance guarantees provided that a specific sublattice exists within a given lattice. They describe a broad class of crystal lattices that are approximable, which further suggests that approximability is a general property of HP lattice models.

  4. Protein-directed self-assembly of a fullerene crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kook-Han; Ko, Dong-Kyun; Kim, Yong-Tae; Kim, Nam Hyeong; Paul, Jaydeep; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Murray, Christopher B.; Acharya, Rudresh; Degrado, William F.; Kim, Yong Ho; Grigoryan, Gevorg

    2016-04-01

    Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties. Here we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene (C60) into ordered superstructures. A previously engineered tetrameric helical bundle binds C60 in solution, rendering it water soluble. Two tetramers associate with one C60, promoting further organization revealed in a 1.67-Å crystal structure. Fullerene groups occupy periodic lattice sites, sandwiched between two Tyr residues from adjacent tetramers. Strikingly, the assembly exhibits high charge conductance, whereas both the protein-alone crystal and amorphous C60 are electrically insulating. The affinity of C60 for its crystal-binding site is estimated to be in the nanomolar range, with lattices of known protein crystals geometrically compatible with incorporating the motif. Taken together, these findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design.

  5. Two-photon excited UV fluorescence for protein crystal detection

    SciTech Connect

    Madden, Jeremy T.; DeWalt, Emma L.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2011-10-01

    Complementary measurements using SONICC and TPE-UVF allow the sensitive and selective detection of protein crystals. Two-photon excited ultraviolet fluorescence (TPE-UVF) microscopy is explored for sensitive protein-crystal detection as a complement to second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC). Like conventional ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF), TPE-UVF generates image contrast based on the intrinsic fluorescence of aromatic residues, generally producing higher fluorescence emission within crystals than the mother liquor by nature of the higher local protein concentration. However, TPE-UVF has several advantages over conventional UVF, including (i) insensitivity to optical scattering, allowing imaging in turbid matrices, (ii) direct compatibility with conventional optical plates and windows by using visible light for excitation, (iii) elimination of potentially damaging out-of-plane UV excitation, (iv) improved signal to noise through background reduction from out-of-plane excitation and (v) relatively simple integration into instrumentation developed for SONICC.

  6. Transport and Growth Kinetics in Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Otalora, F.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.; Carotenuto, L.; Castagnolo, D.; Novella, M. L.; Chernov, A. A.

    2002-01-01

    The dynamic coupling between mass transport and incorporation of growth units into the surface of a crystal growing from solution in microgravity is used to derive quantitative information on the crystal growth kinetics. To this end, new procedures for experiment preparation, interferometric data processing and model fitting have been developed. The use of experimental data from the bulk diffusive maw transport together with a model for steady state stagnant crystal growth allows the detailed quantitative understanding of the kinetics of both the concentration depletion zone around the crystal and the growth of the crystal interface. The protein crystal used in the experiment is shown to be growing in the mixed kinetic regime (0.2 x 10(exp -6) centimeters per second less than beta R/D less than 0.9 x 10(exp -6) centimeters per second).

  7. The Stanford Automated Mounter: Enabling High-Throughput Protein Crystal Screening at SSRL

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Clyde A.; Cohen, Aina E.

    2008-01-01

    The macromolecular crystallography experiment lends itself perfectly to high-throughput technologies. The initial steps including the expression, purification and crystallization of protein crystals, along with some of the later steps involving data processing and structure determination have all been automated to the point where some of the last remaining bottlenecks in the process have been crystal mounting, crystal screening and data collection. At the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL), a National User Facility which provides extremely brilliant X-ray photon beams for use in materials science, environmental science and structural biology research, the incorporation of advanced robotics has enabled crystals to be screened in a true high-throughput fashion, thus dramatically accelerating the final steps. Up to 288 frozen crystals can be mounted by the beamline robot (the Stanford Automated Mounter, or SAM) and screened for diffraction quality in a matter of hours without intervention. The best quality crystals can then be remounted for the collection of complete X-ray diffraction data sets. Furthermore, the entire screening and data collection experiment can be controlled from the experimenter’s home laboratory by means of advanced software tools that enable network-based control of the highly automated beamlines. PMID:19956359

  8. The Stanford Automated Mounter: Enabling High-Throughput Protein Crystal Screening at SSRL

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, C.A.; Cohen, A.E.

    2009-05-26

    The macromolecular crystallography experiment lends itself perfectly to high-throughput technologies. The initial steps including the expression, purification, and crystallization of protein crystals, along with some of the later steps involving data processing and structure determination have all been automated to the point where some of the last remaining bottlenecks in the process have been crystal mounting, crystal screening, and data collection. At the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, a National User Facility that provides extremely brilliant X-ray photon beams for use in materials science, environmental science, and structural biology research, the incorporation of advanced robotics has enabled crystals to be screened in a true high-throughput fashion, thus dramatically accelerating the final steps. Up to 288 frozen crystals can be mounted by the beamline robot (the Stanford Auto-Mounting System) and screened for diffraction quality in a matter of hours without intervention. The best quality crystals can then be remounted for the collection of complete X-ray diffraction data sets. Furthermore, the entire screening and data collection experiment can be controlled from the experimenter's home laboratory by means of advanced software tools that enable network-based control of the highly automated beamlines.

  9. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1995-01-01

    During the fifth semi-annual period under this grant we have pursued the following activities: (1) Characterization of the purity and further purification of lysozyme solutions, these efforts are summarized in Section 2; (2) Crystal growth morphology and kinetics studies with tetragonal lysozyme, our observation on the dependence of lysozyme growth kinetics on step sources and impurities has been summarized in a manuscript which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Crystal Growth; (3) Numerical modelling of the interaction between bulk transport and interface kinetics, for a detailed summary of this work see the manuscript which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Crystal Growth; and (4) Light scattering studies, this work has been summarized in a manuscript that has been submitted for publication to the Journal of Chemical Physics.

  10. Crystal structures of fusion proteins with large-affinity tags.

    PubMed

    Smyth, Douglas R; Mrozkiewicz, Marek K; McGrath, William J; Listwan, Pawel; Kobe, Bostjan

    2003-07-01

    The fusion of a protein of interest to a large-affinity tag, such as the maltose-binding protein (MBP), thioredoxin (TRX), or glutathione-S-transferase (GST), can be advantageous in terms of increased expression, enhanced solubility, protection from proteolysis, improved folding, and protein purification via affinity chromatography. Unfortunately, crystal growth is hindered by the conformational heterogeneity induced by the fusion tag, requiring that the tag is removed by a potentially problematic cleavage step. The first three crystal structures of fusion proteins with large-affinity tags have been reported recently. All three structures used a novel strategy to rigidly fuse the protein of interest to MBP via a short three- to five-amino acid spacer. This strategy has the potential to aid structure determination of proteins that present particular experimental challenges and are not conducive to more conventional crystallization strategies (e.g., membrane proteins). Structural genomics initiatives may also benefit from this approach as a way to crystallize problematic proteins of significant interest. PMID:12824478

  11. Small-scale batch crystallization of proteins revisited: an underutilized way to grow large protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Rayment, Ivan

    2002-02-01

    Growth of high-quality crystals is a major obstacle in many structural investigations. In recent years, the techniques for screening crystals have improved dramatically, whereas the methods for obtaining large crystals have progressed more slowly. This is an important issue since, although many structures can be solved from small crystals with synchrotron radiation, it is far easier to solve and refine structures when strong data is recorded from large crystals. In an effort to improve the size of crystals, a strategy for a small-scale batch method has been developed that in many cases yields far larger crystals than attainable by vapor diffusion. PMID:11839300

  12. A Critical Assessment of Protein Crystal Growth in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc

    1997-01-01

    Experiments to grow higher diffraction quality protein crystals in the microgravity environment of an orbiting spacecraft are one of the most frequently flown space experiments. Ground-based research has shown that convective flows occur even about protein crystals growing in the Earth's gravitational field. Further, this research has shown that the resultant flow velocities can cause growth cessation, and probably affect the measured X-ray data quality obtained. How flow deleteriously affects protein crystal growth (PCG) is still not known, and is the subject of ongoing research. Failing a rational method for ameliorating flow effects on Earth, one can, through NASA and other nations space agency sponsored programs, carry out protein crystal growth in the microgravity environment of an orbiting spacecraft. Early first generation PCG hardware was characterized by a very low success rate and a steep design learning curve. Subsequent hardware designs have improved upon their predecessors. Now the crystal grower has a wide variety of hardware configurations and crystal growth protocols to choose from, many of which implement "standard" laboratory protein crystal growth methods. While many of these are first or early second generation hardware the success rate, defined as growing crystals giving data better than has been obtained on Earth, is at least 20% overall and may be considerably higher if one only considers latter experiments. There are a large number of protein crystals grown every year, with hundreds of structures determined. Those crystallized in microgravity represent a small proportion of this total, and there is concern that the costs of the microgravity PCG program(s) do not justify such limited returns. Empirical evidence suggests that optimum crystal growth conditions in microgravity differ from those determined on Earth, further exacerbating the chances of success. Microgravity PCG is probably best suited for "mature" crystallizations, where one has

  13. Latest methods of fluorescence-based protein crystal identification

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, Arne; Betzel, Christian

    2015-01-28

    Fluorescence, whether intrinsic or by using trace fluorescent labeling, can be a powerful aid in macromolecule crystallization. Its use in screening for crystals is discussed here. Successful protein crystallization screening experiments are dependent upon the experimenter being able to identify positive outcomes. The introduction of fluorescence techniques has brought a powerful and versatile tool to the aid of the crystal grower. Trace fluorescent labeling, in which a fluorescent probe is covalently bound to a subpopulation (<0.5%) of the protein, enables the use of visible fluorescence. Alternatively, one can avoid covalent modification and use UV fluorescence, exploiting the intrinsic fluorescent amino acids present in most proteins. By the use of these techniques, crystals that had previously been obscured in the crystallization drop can readily be identified and distinguished from amorphous precipitate or salt crystals. Additionally, lead conditions that may not have been obvious as such under white-light illumination can be identified. In all cases review of the screening plate is considerably accelerated, as the eye can quickly note objects of increased intensity.

  14. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Isocitrate Lysase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    Comparison of Earth grown and Space grown Isocitrate Lysase crystals. 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 was Charles Bugg.

  15. A Microfluidic, High Throughput Protein Crystal Growth Method for Microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers Jr, Carl W.; Gerdts, Cory; Johnson, Michael D.; Webb, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The attenuation of sedimentation and convection in microgravity can sometimes decrease irregularities formed during macromolecular crystal growth. Current terrestrial protein crystal growth (PCG) capabilities are very different than those used during the Shuttle era and that are currently on the International Space Station (ISS). The focus of this experiment was to demonstrate the use of a commercial off-the-shelf, high throughput, PCG method in microgravity. Using Protein BioSolutions’ microfluidic Plug Maker™/CrystalCard™ system, we tested the ability to grow crystals of the regulator of glucose metabolism and adipogenesis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (apo-hPPAR-γ LBD), as well as several PCG standards. Overall, we sent 25 CrystalCards™ to the ISS, containing ~10,000 individual microgravity PCG experiments in a 3U NanoRacks NanoLab (1U = 103 cm.). After 70 days on the ISS, our samples were returned with 16 of 25 (64%) microgravity cards having crystals, compared to 12 of 25 (48%) of the ground controls. Encouragingly, there were more apo-hPPAR-γ LBD crystals in the microgravity PCG cards than the 1g controls. These positive results hope to introduce the use of the PCG standard of low sample volume and large experimental density to the microgravity environment and provide new opportunities for macromolecular samples that may crystallize poorly in standard laboratories. PMID:24278480

  16. Protein crystal growth and the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeLucas, L. J.; Moore, K. M.; Long, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Protein structural information plays a key role in understanding biological structure-function relationships and in the development of new pharmaceuticals for both chronic and infectious diseases. The Center for Macromolecular Crystallography (CMC) has devoted considerable effort studying the fundamental processes involved in macromolecular crystal growth both in a 1-g and microgravity environment. Results from experiments performed on more than 35 U.S. space shuttle flights have clearly indicated that microgravity can provide a beneficial environment for macromolecular crystal growth. This research has led to the development of a new generation of pharmaceuticals that are currently in preclinical or clinical trials for diseases such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS, influenza, stroke and other cardiovascular complications. The International Space Station (ISS) provides an opportunity to have complete crystallographic capability on orbit, which was previously not possible with the space shuttle orbiter. As envisioned, the x-ray Crystallography Facility (XCF) will be a complete facility for growing protein crystals; selecting, harvesting, and mounting sample crystals for x-ray diffraction; cryo-freezing mounted crystals if necessary; performing x-ray diffraction studies; and downlinking the data for use by crystallographers on the ground. Other advantages of such a facility include crystal characterization so that iterations in the crystal growth conditions can be made, thereby optimizing the final crystals produced in a three month interval on the ISS.

  17. A microfluidic, high throughput protein crystal growth method for microgravity.

    PubMed

    Carruthers, Carl W; Gerdts, Cory; Johnson, Michael D; Webb, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The attenuation of sedimentation and convection in microgravity can sometimes decrease irregularities formed during macromolecular crystal growth. Current terrestrial protein crystal growth (PCG) capabilities are very different than those used during the Shuttle era and that are currently on the International Space Station (ISS). The focus of this experiment was to demonstrate the use of a commercial off-the-shelf, high throughput, PCG method in microgravity. Using Protein BioSolutions' microfluidic Plug Maker™/CrystalCard™ system, we tested the ability to grow crystals of the regulator of glucose metabolism and adipogenesis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (apo-hPPAR-γ LBD), as well as several PCG standards. Overall, we sent 25 CrystalCards™ to the ISS, containing ~10,000 individual microgravity PCG experiments in a 3U NanoRacks NanoLab (1U = 10(3) cm.). After 70 days on the ISS, our samples were returned with 16 of 25 (64%) microgravity cards having crystals, compared to 12 of 25 (48%) of the ground controls. Encouragingly, there were more apo-hPPAR-γ LBD crystals in the microgravity PCG cards than the 1g controls. These positive results hope to introduce the use of the PCG standard of low sample volume and large experimental density to the microgravity environment and provide new opportunities for macromolecular samples that may crystallize poorly in standard laboratories. PMID:24278480

  18. Influence of Crystal Packing on Global Protein Conformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahlstrom, Logan; Miyashita, Osamu

    2011-10-01

    X-ray crystallography is the most robust method for solving protein structure. However, packing forces in the crystal lattice select just a snapshot of a protein's conformational ensemble, whereas proteins are flexible and can adopt different conformations. Here we compare molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in solution and the crystal lattice to add dynamical insight to the static X-ray images of proteins. As a model system, we consider the λ Cro dimer, whose solved X-ray structures range from a ``closed'' to an ``open'' global conformation. Free energy profiles depicting the conformational space sampled by the dimer in solution show some reported structures correspond to stable states. Yet other conformations, while accessible, lie higher in energy, indicating the effect of crystal packing. Subsequent crystal MD simulations estimated the strength of packing interfaces in the lattice, showing the influence of crystal form and mutation in stabilizing different dimer conformations. Our quantitative results will aid analysis of X-ray data in establishing protein structure-function relationships.

  19. Expression, purification and crystallization of a lyssavirus matrix (M) protein

    SciTech Connect

    Assenberg, René; Delmas, Olivier; Graham, Stephen C.; Verma, Anil; Berrow, Nick; Stuart, David I.; Owens, Raymond J.; Bourhy, Hervé; Grimes, Jonathan M.

    2008-04-01

    The expression, purification and crystallization of the full-length matrix protein from three lyssaviruses is described. The matrix (M) proteins of lyssaviruses (family Rhabdoviridae) are crucial to viral morphogenesis as well as in modulating replication and transcription of the viral genome. To date, no high-resolution structural information has been obtained for full-length rhabdovirus M. Here, the cloning, expression and purification of the matrix proteins from three lyssaviruses, Lagos bat virus (LAG), Mokola virus and Thailand dog virus, are described. Crystals have been obtained for the full-length M protein from Lagos bat virus (LAG M). Successful crystallization depended on a number of factors, in particular the addition of an N-terminal SUMO fusion tag to increase protein solubility. Diffraction data have been recorded from crystals of native and selenomethionine-labelled LAG M to 2.75 and 3.0 Å resolution, respectively. Preliminary analysis indicates that these crystals belong to space group P6{sub 1}22 or P6{sub 5}22, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 56.9–57.2, c = 187.9–188.6 Å, consistent with the presence of one molecule per asymmetric unit, and structure determination is currently in progress.

  20. Precise Manipulation and Patterning of Protein Crystals for Macromolecular Crystallography using Surface Acoustic Waves

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Feng; Zhou, Weijie; Li, Peng; Mao, Zhangming; Yennawar, Neela; French, Jarrod B.; Jun Huang, Tony

    2015-01-01

    Advances in modern X-ray sources and detector technology have made it possible for crystallographers to collect usable data on crystals of only a few micrometers or less in size. Despite these developments, sample handling techniques have significantly lagged behind and often prevent the full realization of current beamline capabilities. In order to address this shortcoming we have developed a surface acoustic wave-based method for manipulating and patterning crystals. This method, which does not damage the fragile protein crystals, can precisely manipulate and pattern micrometer and sub-micrometer sized crystals for data collection and screening. The technique is robust, inexpensive, and easy to implement. This method not only promises to significantly increase efficiency and throughput of both conventional and serial crystallography experiments, but also will make it possible to collect data on samples that were previously intractable. PMID:25641793

  1. Growing protein crystals in microgravity - The NASA Microgravity Science and Applications Division (MSAD) Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herren, B.

    1992-01-01

    In collaboration with a medical researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, under the sponsorship of the Microgravity Science and Applications Division (MSAD) at NASA Headquarters, is continuing a series of space experiments in protein crystal growth which could lead to innovative new drugs as well as basic science data on protein molecular structures. From 1985 through 1992, Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiments will have been flown on the Space Shuttle a total of 14 times. The first four hand-held experiments were used to test hardware concepts; later flights incorporated these concepts for vapor diffusion protein crystal growth with temperature control. This article provides an overview of the PCG program: its evolution, objectives, and plans for future experiments on NASA's Space Shuttle and Space Station Freedom.

  2. Protein adsorption on surfaces: dynamic contact-angle (DCA) and quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) measurements.

    PubMed

    Stadler, H; Mondon, M; Ziegler, C

    2003-01-01

    Adsorption of the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) on gold has been tested at various concentrations in aqueous solution by dynamic contact-angle analysis (DCA) and quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) measurements. With the Wilhelmy plate technique advancing and receding contact angles and the corresponding hysteresis were measured and correlated with the hydrophilicity and the homogeneity of the surface. With electrical admittance measurements of a gold-coated piezoelectrical quartz crystal, layer mass and viscoelastic contributions to the resonator's frequency shift during adsorption could be separated. A correlation was found between the adsorbed mass and the homogeneity and hydrophilicity of the adsorbed film. PMID:12520439

  3. Crystallization of parasporin-2, a Bacillus thuringiensis crystal protein with selective cytocidal activity against human cells.

    PubMed

    Akiba, Toshihiko; Abe, Yuichi; Kitada, Sakae; Kusaka, Yoshitomo; Ito, Akio; Ichimatsu, Tokio; Katayama, Hideki; Akao, Tetsuyuki; Higuchi, Kazuhiko; Mizuki, Eiichi; Ohba, Michio; Kanai, Ryuta; Harata, Kazuaki

    2004-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is a valuable source of protein toxins that are specifically effective against certain insects and worms but harmless to mammals. In contrast, a protein toxin obtained from B. thuringiensis strain A1547, designated parasporin-2, is not insecticidal but has a strong cytocidal activity against human cells with markedly divergent target specificity. The 37 kDa inactive protein is proteolytically activated to a 30 kDa active form. The active form of the recombinant protein toxin was crystallized in the presence of ethylene glycol and polyethylene glycol 8000 at neutral pH. The crystals belong to the hexagonal space group P6(1) or P6(5), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 134.37, c = 121.24 A. Diffraction data from a native crystal were collected to 2.75 A resolution using a synchrotron-radiation source. PMID:15583389

  4. Liquid Between Macromolecules in Protein Crystals: Static Versus Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.

    2005-01-01

    Protein crystals are so fragile that they often can not be handled by tweezers. Indeed, measurements of the Young modulus, E, of lysozyme crystals resulted in E approx. equals 0.1 - 1 GPa, the lower figures, 0.1 - 0.5 GPa, being obtained from triple point bending of as-grown and not cross-linked crystals sitting in solution. The bending strength was found to be approx.10(exp -2) E. On the other hand, ultrasound speed and Mandelstam-Raman-Brilloin light scattering experiments led to much higher figures, E approx. equals 2.7 GPa. The lower figures for E were found from static or low frequency crystal deformations measurements, while the higher moduli are based on high frequency lattice vibrations, 10(exp 7) - 10(exp 10) 1/s. The physical reason for the about an order of magnitude discrepancy is in different behavior of water filling space between protein molecules. At slow lattice deformation, the not-bound intermolecular water has enough time to flow from the compressed to expanded regions of the deformed crystal. At high deformation frequencies in the ultra- and hypersound waves, the water is confined in the intermolecular space and, on that scale, behaves like a solid, thus contributing to the elastic crystal moduli. In this case, the reciprocal crystal modulus is expected to be an average of the water protein and water compressibilities (reciprocal compressibilities): the bulk modulus for lysozyme is 26 GPa, for water it is 7 GPa. Anisotropy of the crystal moduli comes from intermolecular contacts within the lattice while the high frequency hardness comes from the bulk of protein molecules and water bulk moduli. These conclusions are based on the analysis of liquid flow in porous medium to be presented.

  5. Upside-down protein crystallization: designing microbatch experiments for microgravity.

    PubMed

    Khurshid, Sahir; Chayen, Naomi E

    2006-09-01

    The benefits of protein crystal growth in microgravity are well documented. The crystallization vessels currently employed for microgravity crystallization are far from optimal with regards to cost, sample volume, size, and ease of use. The use of microbatch experiments is a favorable alternative in each respect: 96 experiments of 0.5-2 microL volumes can be performed in a single microtiter tray measuring 5 x 8 cm and costing 1 pound sterling each. To date, the use of microbatch has not been pursued on account of concerns of oil leakage. To address this issue, a novel approach to microbatch crystallization experiments is described, where the microbatch plates are inverted throughout the duration of the experiment. The findings intimate the application of the microbatch method to space flight and the potential to drastically increase the output of microgravity crystallization research . PMID:17124125

  6. Split green fluorescent protein as a modular binding partner for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, Hau B.; Hung, Li-Wei; Yeates, Todd O.; Terwilliger, Thomas C. Waldo, Geoffrey S.

    2013-12-01

    A strategy using a new split green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a modular binding partner to form stable protein complexes with a target protein is presented. The modular split GFP may open the way to rapidly creating crystallization variants. A modular strategy for protein crystallization using split green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a crystallization partner is demonstrated. Insertion of a hairpin containing GFP β-strands 10 and 11 into a surface loop of a target protein provides two chain crossings between the target and the reconstituted GFP compared with the single connection afforded by terminal GFP fusions. This strategy was tested by inserting this hairpin into a loop of another fluorescent protein, sfCherry. The crystal structure of the sfCherry-GFP(10–11) hairpin in complex with GFP(1–9) was determined at a resolution of 2.6 Å. Analysis of the complex shows that the reconstituted GFP is attached to the target protein (sfCherry) in a structurally ordered way. This work opens the way to rapidly creating crystallization variants by reconstituting a target protein bearing the GFP(10–11) hairpin with a variety of GFP(1–9) mutants engineered for favorable crystallization.

  7. Application of protein engineering to enhance crystallizability and improve crystal properties

    SciTech Connect

    Derewenda, Zygmunt S.

    2010-05-01

    This article presents an overview of protein-engineering methods designed to enhance crystallizability and discusses a number of examples of their successful application. Until recently, protein crystallization has mostly been regarded as a stochastic event over which the investigator has little or no control. With the dramatic technological advances in synchrotron-radiation sources and detectors and the equally impressive progress in crystallographic software, including automated model building and validation, crystallization has increasingly become the rate-limiting step in X-ray diffraction studies of macromolecules. However, with the advent of recombinant methods it has also become possible to engineer target proteins and their complexes for higher propensity to form crystals with desirable X-ray diffraction qualities. As most proteins that are under investigation today are obtained by heterologous overexpression, these techniques hold the promise of becoming routine tools with the potential to transform classical crystallization screening into a more rational high-success-rate approach. This article presents an overview of protein-engineering methods designed to enhance crystallizability and discusses a number of examples of their successful application.

  8. Thermal Optimization of Growth and Quality in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiencek, John M.

    1996-01-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that larger and higher quality crystals can be attained in the microgravity of space; however, the effect of growth rate on protein crystal quality is not well documented. This research is the first step towards providing strategies to grow crystals under constant rates of growth. Controlling growth rates at a constant value allows for direct one-to-one comparison of results obtained in microgravity and on earth. The overall goal of the project was to control supersaturation at a constant value during protein crystal growth by varying temperature in a predetermined manner. Applying appropriate theory requires knowledge of specific physicochemical properties of the protein solution including the effect of supersaturation on growth rates and the effect of temperature on protein solubility. Such measurements typically require gram quantities of protein and many months of data acquisition. A second goal of the project applied microcalorimetry for the rapid determination of these physicochemical properties using a minimum amount of protein. These two goals were successfully implemented on hen egg-white lysozyme. Results of these studies are described in the attached reprints.

  9. Applications of the second virial coefficient: protein crystallization and solubility

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, William W.; DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2014-04-30

    This article highlights some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program, and includes a more detailed discussion of the history and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. This article begins by highlighting some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of the history of and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. A second application of measured B values involves the determination of solution conditions that improve or maximize the solubility of aqueous and membrane proteins. These two important applications have led to several technological improvements that simplify the experimental expertise required, enable the measurement of membrane proteins and improve the diagnostic capability and measurement throughput.

  10. Containerless protein crystal growth in rotating levitated drops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Sang K.; Trinh, Eugene H.

    1998-01-01

    A method for growing protein crystals in a containerless environment using an ultrasonic-electrostatic hybrid levitator is evaluated. In this approach, a single protein solution droplet bearing a surface charge is electrostatically levitated and acoustically rotated along a horizontal axis during the crystal nucleation and growth phases. Sample rotation is induced by ultrasonic streaming and radiation pressure applied in addition to the electrostatic levitation force. This unique approach is developed in order to create controlled crystal growth conditions which would reproduce some of the aspects of the low-gravity environment. We present the outcome of a development effort and feasibility study showing the successful growth of lysozyme and thaumatin crystals suspended within the bulk of quiescent liquid protein solutions inside rotating droplets also containing a very small concentration of agarose. Even though the crystals are not growing in a completely gelled medium and rotation is required for their long-term suspension, there are indications that a convectionless crystal growth environment has been obtained within the rotating drop, and that artificial flow can be introduced in a controlled manner by imposing drop shape oscillations.

  11. Simulations of nucleation and early growth stages of protein crystals.

    PubMed Central

    Kierzek, A M; Wolf, W M; Zielenkiewicz, P

    1997-01-01

    Analysis of known protein crystal structures reveals that interaction energies between monomer pairs alone are not sufficient to overcome entropy loss related to fixing monomers in the crystal lattice. Interactions with several neighbors in the crystal are required for stabilization of monomers in the lattice. A microscopic model of nucleation and early growth stages of protein crystals, based on the above observations, is presented. Anisotropy of protein molecules is taken into account by assigning free energies of association (proportional to the buried surface area) to individual monomer-monomer contacts in the lattice. Lattice simulations of the tetragonal lysozyme crystal based on the model correctly reproduce structural features of the movement of dislocation on the (110) crystal face. The dislocation shifts with the speed equal to the one determined experimentally if the geometric probability of correct orientation is set to 10(-5), in agreement with previously published estimates. At this value of orientational probability, the first nuclei, the critical size of which for lysozyme is four monomers, appear in 1 ml of supersaturated solution on a time scale of microseconds. Formation of the ordered phase proceeds through the growth of nuclei (rather then their association) and requires nucleations on the surface at certain stages. Images FIGURE 2 PMID:9251778

  12. Liquid drop stability for protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, Robert B.; Broom, Beth H.; Snyder, Robert S.; Daniel, Ron

    1987-01-01

    It is possible to grow protein crystals for biomedical research in microgravity by deploying a protein-rich solution from a syringe, forming a drop in which crystallization can occur with the proper degree of supersaturation. Drop stability is critical to the success of this research, due to the large drop sizes which can be achieved in space. In order to determine the type of syringe tips most suitable to support these large drops, tests were performed during brief periods of weightlessness onboard the NASA KC-135 low-gravity simulation aircraft. The drops were analyzed using three simple models in which the samples were approximated by modified pendulum and spring systems. It was concluded that the higher frequency systems were the most stable, indicating that of the syringes utilized, a disk-shaped configuration provided the most stable environment of low-gravity protein crystal growth.

  13. Nucleation and Convection Effects in Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1997-01-01

    Work during the second year under this grant (NAG8-1161) resulted in several major achievements. We have characterized protein impurities as well as microheterogeneities in the proteins hen egg white lysozyme and horse spleen apoferritin, and demonstrated the effects of these impurities on nucleation and crystallization. In particular, the purification of apoferritin resulted in crystals with an X-ray diffraction resolution of better than 1.8 A, i.e. a 1 A improvement over earlier work on the cubic form. Furthermore, we have shown, in association with studies of liquid-liquid phase separation, that depending on the growth conditions, lysozyme can produce all growth morphologies that have been observed with other proteins. Finally, in connection with our experimental and simulation work on growth step bunching, we have developed a system-dependent criterion for advantages and disadvantages of crystallization from solution under reduced gravity. In the following, these efforts are described in some detail.

  14. Novel protein crystal growth technology: Proof of concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyce, Thomas A.; Rosenberger, Franz

    1989-01-01

    A technology for crystal growth, which overcomes certain shortcomings of other techniques, is developed and its applicability to proteins is examined. There were several unknowns to be determined: the design of the apparatus for suspension of crystals of varying (growing) diameter, control of the temperature and supersaturation, the methods for seeding and/or controlling nucleation, the effect on protein solutions of the temperature oscillations arising from the circulation, and the effect of the fluid shear on the suspended crystals. Extensive effort was put forth to grow lysozyme crystals. Under conditions favorable to the growth of tetragonal lysozyme, spontaneous nucleation could be produced but the number of nuclei could not be controlled. Seed transfer techniques were developed and implemented. When conditions for the orthorhombic form were tried, a single crystal 1.5 x 0.5 x 0.2 mm was grown (after in situ nucleation) and successfully extracted. A mathematical model was developed to predict the flow velocity as a function of the geometry and the operating temperatures. The model can also be used to scaleup the apparatus for growing larger crystals of other materials such as water soluble non-linear optical materials. This crystal suspension technology also shows promise for high quality solution growth of optical materials such as TGS and KDP.

  15. THz Microscopy of Anisotropy and Correlated Motions in Protein Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Katherine; Acbas, Gheorghe; Snell, Edward; Markelz, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    We introduce a new technique, Crystal Anisotropy Terahertz Microscopy (CATM) which can directly measure correlated intra-molecular protein vibrations. The terahertz (THz) frequency range (5-100 cm-1) corresponds to global correlated protein motions, proposed to be essential to protein function [1, 2]. CATM accesses these motions by removal of the relaxational background of the solvent and residue side chain librational motions. We demonstrate narrowband features in the anisotropic absorbance for hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) single crystals as well as HEWL with triacetylglucosamine (HEWL-3NAG) inhibitor single crystals. The most prominent features for the HEWL crystals appear at 45 cm-1, 69 cm-1, and 78 cm-1 and the strength of the absorption varies with crystal orientation relative to the THz polarization. Calculations show similar anisotropic features, suggesting specific correlated mode identification is possible. 1. Hammes-Schiffer, S. and S.J. Benkovic, Relating Protein Motion to Catalysis. Annu. Rev. Biochem., 2006. 75: p. 519-41. 2. Henzler-Wildman, K.A., et al., Intrinsic motions along an enzymatic reaction trajectory. Nature, 2007. 450(7171): p. 838-U13. This work supported by NSF MRI2 grant DBI295998.

  16. Efficiency analysis of sampling protocols used in protein crystallization screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segelke, Brent W.

    2001-11-01

    In an effort to objectively compare the efficiency of protein crystallization screening techniques, a probability model of sampling efficiency is developed and used to calculate sampling efficiencies from experimental data. Three typical sampling protocols (grid screening, footprint screening, and random screening) are used to crystallize each of five proteins (Phospholipase A 2, Thaumatin, Catalase, Lysozyme, and Ribonuclease B). For each of the three sampling protocols, experiments are chosen from a large set of possible experiments generated by systematic combination of a number of parameters common in crystallization screens. Software has been developed to generate and select from the combinations with each of the three sampling protocols examined in this study. The protocols differ only in the order samples are chosen from the set of possible combinations. Random sampling is motivated by the "Incomplete Factorial" screen (Carter and Carter, J. Biol. Chem. 254 (1979) 12 219); sampling with subsets of four is motivated by the "Footprint" screen (Stura et al., J. Crystal Growth 122 (1992) 273) and sampling with subsets of twenty-four is motivated by the "Grid" screen (McPherson, Prepartion and Analysis of Protein Crystals, Wiley, New York, 1982). For the five proteins examined, random sampling has the greatest average efficiency. Additional benefits of random sampling are discussed.

  17. Mesoscale crystallization of calcium phosphate nanostructures in protein (casein) micelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thachepan, Surachai; Li, Mei; Mann, Stephen

    2010-11-01

    Aqueous micelles of the multi-protein calcium phosphate complex, casein, were treated at 60 °C and pH 7 over several months. Although partial dissociation of the micelles into 12 nm sized amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)/protein nanoparticles occurred within a period of 14 days, crystallization of the ACP nanoclusters into bundles of hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanofilaments was not observed until after 12 weeks. The HAP nanofilaments were formed specifically within the partially disrupted protein micelles suggesting a micelle-mediated pathway of mesoscale crystallization. Similar experiments using ACP-containing synthetic micelles prepared from β-casein protein alone indicated that co-aligned bundles of HAP nanofilaments were produced within the protein micelle interior after 24 hours at temperatures as low as 35 °C. The presence of Mg2+ ions in the casein micelles, as well as a possible synergistic effect associated with the multi-protein nature of the native aggregates, could account for the marked inhibition in mesoscale crystallization observed in the casein micelles compared with the single-component β-casein constructs.Aqueous micelles of the multi-protein calcium phosphate complex, casein, were treated at 60 °C and pH 7 over several months. Although partial dissociation of the micelles into 12 nm sized amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)/protein nanoparticles occurred within a period of 14 days, crystallization of the ACP nanoclusters into bundles of hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanofilaments was not observed until after 12 weeks. The HAP nanofilaments were formed specifically within the partially disrupted protein micelles suggesting a micelle-mediated pathway of mesoscale crystallization. Similar experiments using ACP-containing synthetic micelles prepared from β-casein protein alone indicated that co-aligned bundles of HAP nanofilaments were produced within the protein micelle interior after 24 hours at temperatures as low as 35 °C. The presence of Mg2+ ions in

  18. Protein crystal screening and characterization for serial femtosecond nanocrystallography

    PubMed Central

    Darmanin, Connie; Strachan, Jamie; Adda, Christopher G.; Ve, Thomas; Kobe, Bostjan; Abbey, Brian

    2016-01-01

    The recent development of X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) has spurred the development of serial femtosecond nanocrystallography (SFX) which, for the first time, is enabling structure retrieval from sub-micron protein crystals. Although there are already a growing number of structures published using SFX, the technology is still very new and presents a number of unique challenges as well as opportunities for structural biologists. One of the biggest barriers to the success of SFX experiments is the preparation and selection of suitable protein crystal samples. Here we outline a protocol for preparing and screening for suitable XFEL targets. PMID:27139248

  19. Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment aboard mission STS-66

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    On the Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis' middeck, Astronaut Joseph R. Tarner, mission specialist, works at an area amidst several lockers which support the Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment during the STS-66 mission. This particular section is called the Crystal Observation System, housed in the Thermal Enclosure System (COS/TES). Together with the Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDA), housed in Single Locker Thermal Enclosure (SLTES), the COS/TES represents the continuing research into the structure of proteins and other macromolecules such as viruses.

  20. Protein crystal screening and characterization for serial femtosecond nanocrystallography.

    PubMed

    Darmanin, Connie; Strachan, Jamie; Adda, Christopher G; Ve, Thomas; Kobe, Bostjan; Abbey, Brian

    2016-01-01

    The recent development of X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) has spurred the development of serial femtosecond nanocrystallography (SFX) which, for the first time, is enabling structure retrieval from sub-micron protein crystals. Although there are already a growing number of structures published using SFX, the technology is still very new and presents a number of unique challenges as well as opportunities for structural biologists. One of the biggest barriers to the success of SFX experiments is the preparation and selection of suitable protein crystal samples. Here we outline a protocol for preparing and screening for suitable XFEL targets. PMID:27139248

  1. A structural dissection of large protein-protein crystal packing contacts

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jiesi; Liu, Zhongyu; Guo, Yanzhi; Li, Menglong

    2015-01-01

    With the rapid increase in crystal structures of protein-protein complexes deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), more and more crystal contacts have been shown to have similar or even larger interface areas than biological interfaces. However, little attention has been paid to these large crystal packing contacts and their structural principles remain unknown. To address this issue, we used a comparative feature analysis to analyze the geometric and physicochemical properties of large crystal packing contacts by comparing two types of specific protein-protein interactions (PPIs), weak transient complexes and permanent homodimers. Our results show that although large crystal packing contacts have a similar interface area and contact size as permanent homodimers, they tend to be more planar, loosely packed and less hydrophobic than permanent homodimers and cannot form a central core region that is fully buried during interaction. However, the properties of large crystal packing contacts, except for the interface area and contact size, more closely resemble those of weak transient complexes. The large overlap between biological and large crystal packing contacts indicates that interface properties are not efficient indicators for classification of biological interfaces from large crystal packing contacts and finding other specific features urgently needed. PMID:26370141

  2. Screening of Protein Crystallization Trials by Second Order Nonlinear Optical Imaging of Chiral Crystals (SONICC)

    PubMed Central

    Haupert, Levi; Simpson, Garth

    2011-01-01

    Second order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC) is a promising new method for the sensitive and selective detection of protein crystals. Relevant general principles of second harmonic generation, which underpins SONICC, are reviewed. Instrumentation and methods for SONICC measurements are described and critically assessed in terms of performance trade-offs. Potential origins of false-positives and false-negatives are also discussed. PMID:22101350

  3. Directed molecular evolution to design advanced red fluorescent proteins

    PubMed Central

    Subach, Fedor V; Piatkevich, Kiryl D; Verkhusha, Vladislav V

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins have become indispensable imaging tools for biomedical research. continuing progress in fluorescence imaging, however, requires probes with additional colors and properties optimized for emerging techniques. Here we summarize strategies for development of red-shifted fluorescent proteins. We discuss possibilities for knowledge-based rational design based on the photochemistry of fluorescent proteins and the position of the chromophore in protein structure. We consider advances in library design by mutagenesis, protein expression systems and instrumentation for high-throughput screening that should yield improved fluorescent proteins for advanced imaging applications. PMID:22127219

  4. Development of compartment for studies on the growth of protein crystals in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamazaki, T.; Tsukamoto, K.; Yoshizaki, I.; Fukuyama, S.; Miura, H.; Shimaoka, T.; Maki, T.; Oshi, K.; Kimura, Y.

    2016-03-01

    To clarify the growth mechanism of a protein crystal, it is essential to measure its growth rate with respect to the supersaturation. We developed a compartment (growth cell) for measuring the growth rate (<0.1 nm s-1) of the face of a protein crystal at a controlled supersaturation by interferometry over a period of half a year in space. The growth cell mainly consists of quartz glass, in which the growth solution and a seed crystal are enclosed by capillaries, the screw sample holder, and a helical insert. To avoid the destruction of the cell and the evaporation of the water from the solution inside the cell, we selected the materials for these components with care. The equipment was successfully used to examine the growth of a lysozyme crystal at a controlled supersaturation in space, where convection is negligible because of the microgravity environment, thereby advancing our understanding of the mechanism of protein crystal growth from solution. The technique used to develop the growth cell is useful not only for space experiments but also for kinetic studies of materials with very slow growth and dissolution rates (<10-3 nm s-1).

  5. Development of compartment for studies on the growth of protein crystals in space.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, T; Tsukamoto, K; Yoshizaki, I; Fukuyama, S; Miura, H; Shimaoka, T; Maki, T; Oshi, K; Kimura, Y

    2016-03-01

    To clarify the growth mechanism of a protein crystal, it is essential to measure its growth rate with respect to the supersaturation. We developed a compartment (growth cell) for measuring the growth rate (<0.1 nm s(-1)) of the face of a protein crystal at a controlled supersaturation by interferometry over a period of half a year in space. The growth cell mainly consists of quartz glass, in which the growth solution and a seed crystal are enclosed by capillaries, the screw sample holder, and a helical insert. To avoid the destruction of the cell and the evaporation of the water from the solution inside the cell, we selected the materials for these components with care. The equipment was successfully used to examine the growth of a lysozyme crystal at a controlled supersaturation in space, where convection is negligible because of the microgravity environment, thereby advancing our understanding of the mechanism of protein crystal growth from solution. The technique used to develop the growth cell is useful not only for space experiments but also for kinetic studies of materials with very slow growth and dissolution rates (<10(-3) nm s(-1)). PMID:27036758

  6. Fusion proteins as alternate crystallization paths to difficult structure problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C.; Rueker, Florian; Ho, Joseph X.; Lim, Kap; Keeling, Kim; Gilliland, Gary; Ji, Xinhua

    1994-01-01

    The three-dimensional structure of a peptide fusion product with glutathione transferase from Schistosoma japonicum (SjGST) has been solved by crystallographic methods to 2.5 A resolution. Peptides or proteins can be fused to SjGST and expressed in a plasmid for rapid synthesis in Escherichia coli. Fusion proteins created by this commercial method can be purified rapidly by chromatography on immobilized glutathione. The potential utility of using SjGST fusion proteins as alternate paths to the crystallization and structure determination of proteins is demonstrated.

  7. Understanding the fabric of protein crystals: computational classification of biological interfaces and crystal contacts.

    PubMed

    Capitani, Guido; Duarte, Jose M; Baskaran, Kumaran; Bliven, Spencer; Somody, Joseph C

    2016-02-15

    Modern structural biology still draws the vast majority of information from crystallography, a technique where the objects being investigated are embedded in a crystal lattice. Given the complexity and variety of those objects, it becomes fundamental to computationally assess which of the interfaces in the lattice are biologically relevant and which are simply crystal contacts. Since the mid-1990s, several approaches have been applied to obtain high-accuracy classification of crystal contacts and biological protein-protein interfaces. This review provides an overview of the concepts and main approaches to protein interface classification: thermodynamic estimation of interface stability, evolutionary approaches based on conservation of interface residues, and co-occurrence of the interface across different crystal forms. Among the three categories, evolutionary approaches offer the strongest promise for improvement, thanks to the incessant growth in sequence knowledge. Importantly, protein interface classification algorithms can also be used on multimeric structures obtained using other high-resolution techniques or for protein assembly design or validation purposes. A key issue linked to protein interface classification is the identification of the biological assembly of a crystal structure and the analysis of its symmetry. Here, we highlight the most important concepts and problems to be overcome in assembly prediction. Over the next few years, tools and concepts of interface classification will probably become more frequently used and integrated in several areas of structural biology and structural bioinformatics. Among the main challenges for the future are better addressing of weak interfaces and the application of interface classification concepts to prediction problems like protein-protein docking. PMID:26508758

  8. Applications of the second virial coefficient: protein crystallization and solubility

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, William W.; DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2014-01-01

    This article begins by highlighting some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of the history of and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. A second application of measured B values involves the determination of solution conditions that improve or maximize the solubility of aqueous and membrane proteins. These two important applications have led to several technological improvements that simplify the experimental expertise required, enable the measurement of membrane proteins and improve the diagnostic capability and measurement throughput. PMID:24817708

  9. Morphology and the Strength of Intermolecular Contact in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matsuura, Yoshiki; Chernov, Alexander A.

    2002-01-01

    The strengths of intermolecular contacts (macrobonds) in four lysozyme crystals were estimated based on the strengths of individual intermolecular interatomic interaction pairs. The periodic bond chain of these macrobonds accounts for the morphology of protein crystals as shown previously. Further in this paper, the surface area of contact, polar coordinate representation of contact site, Coulombic contribution on the macrobond strength, and the surface energy of the crystal have been evaluated. Comparing location of intermolecular contacts in different polymorphic crystal modifications, we show that these contacts can form a wide variety of patches on the molecular surface. The patches are located practically everywhere on this surface except for the concave active site. The contacts frequently include water molecules, with specific intermolecular hydrogen-bonds on the background of non-specific attractive interactions. The strengths of macrobonds are also compared to those of other protein complex systems. Making use of the contact strengths and taking into account bond hydration we also estimated crystal-water interfacial energies for different crystal faces.

  10. Application of protein engineering to enhance crystallizability and improve crystal properties

    PubMed Central

    Derewenda, Zygmunt S.

    2010-01-01

    Until recently, protein crystallization has mostly been regarded as a stochastic event over which the investigator has little or no control. With the dramatic technological advances in synchrotron-radiation sources and detectors and the equally impressive progress in crystallographic software, including automated model building and validation, crystallization has increasingly become the rate-limiting step in X-ray diffraction studies of macromolecules. However, with the advent of recombinant methods it has also become possible to engineer target proteins and their complexes for higher propensity to form crystals with desirable X-ray diffraction qualities. As most proteins that are under investigation today are obtained by heterologous overexpression, these tech­niques hold the promise of becoming routine tools with the potential to transform classical crystallization screening into a more rational high-success-rate approach. This article presents an overview of protein-engineering methods designed to enhance crystallizability and discusses a number of examples of their successful application. PMID:20445236

  11. Protein crystallization analysis on the World Community Grid

    PubMed Central

    Cumbaa, Christian A.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed an image-analysis and classification system for automatically scoring images from high-throughput protein crystallization trials. Image analysis for this system is performed by the Help Conquer Cancer (HCC) project on the World Community Grid. HCC calculates 12,375 distinct image features on microbatch-under-oil images from the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute’s High-Throughput Screening Laboratory. Using HCC-computed image features and a massive training set of 165,351 hand-scored images, we have trained multiple Random Forest classifiers that accurately recognize multiple crystallization outcomes, including crystals, clear drops, precipitate, and others. The system successfully recognizes 80% of crystal-bearing images, 89% of precipitate images, and 98% of clear drops. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10969-009-9076-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20072819

  12. Two-photon excited UV fluorescence for protein crystal detection

    PubMed Central

    Madden, Jeremy T.; DeWalt, Emma L.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2011-01-01

    Two-photon excited ultraviolet fluorescence (TPE-UVF) microscopy is explored for sensitive protein-crystal detection as a complement to second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC). Like conventional ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF), TPE-UVF generates image contrast based on the intrinsic fluorescence of aromatic residues, generally producing higher fluorescence emission within crystals than the mother liquor by nature of the higher local protein concentration. However, TPE-UVF has several advantages over conventional UVF, including (i) insensitivity to optical scattering, allowing imaging in turbid matrices, (ii) direct compatibility with conventional optical plates and windows by using visible light for excitation, (iii) elimination of potentially damaging out-of-plane UV excitation, (iv) improved signal to noise through background reduction from out-of-plane excitation and (v) relatively simple integration into instrumentation developed for SONICC. PMID:21931215

  13. X-ray transparent Microfluidics for Protein Crystallization and Biomineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opathalage, Achini

    Protein crystallization demands the fundamental understanding of nucleation and applying techniques to find the optimal conditions to achieve the kinetic pathway for a large and defect free crystal. Classical nucleation theory predicts that the nucleation occurs at high supersaturation conditions. In this dissertation we sought out to develop techniques to attain optimal supersaturation profile to a large defect free crystal and subject it to in-situ X-ray diffraction using microfluidics. We have developed an emulsion-based serial crystallographic technology in nanolitre-sized droplets of protein solution encapsulated in to nucleate one crystal per drop. Diffraction data are measured, one crystal at a time, from a series of room temperature crystals stored on an X-ray semi-transparent microfluidic chip, and a 93% complete data set is obtained by merging single diffraction frames taken from different un-oriented crystals. As proof of concept, the structure of Glucose Isomerase was solved to 2.1 A. We have developed a suite of X-ray semi-transparent micrfluidic devices which enables; controlled evaporation as a method of increasing supersaturation and manipulating the phase space of proteins and small molecules. We exploited the inherently high water permeability of the thin X-ray semi-transparent devices as a mean of increasing the supersaturation by controlling the evaporation. We fabricated the X-ray semi-transparent version of the PhaseChip with a thin PDMS membrane by which the storage and the reservoir layers are separated, and studies the phase transition of amorphous CaCO3.

  14. Exploring Carbon Nanomaterial Diversity for Nucleation of Protein Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Govada, Lata; Leese, Hannah S.; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Kassen, Sean; Chain, Benny; Khurshid, Sahir; Menzel, Robert; Hu, Sheng; Shaffer, Milo S. P.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2016-01-01

    Controlling crystal nucleation is a crucial step in obtaining high quality protein crystals for structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) including carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide, and carbon black provide a range of surface topographies, porosities and length scales; functionalisation with two different approaches, gas phase radical grafting and liquid phase reductive grafting, provide routes to a range of oligomer functionalised products. These grafted materials, combined with a range of controls, were used in a large-scale assessment of the effectiveness for protein crystal nucleation of 20 different carbon nanomaterials on five proteins. This study has allowed a direct comparison of the key characteristics of carbon-based nucleants: appropriate surface chemistry, porosity and/or roughness are required. The most effective solid system tested in this study, carbon black nanoparticles functionalised with poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether of mean molecular weight 5000, provides a novel highly effective nucleant, that was able to induce crystal nucleation of four out of the five proteins tested at metastable conditions. PMID:26843366

  15. Exploring Carbon Nanomaterial Diversity for Nucleation of Protein Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govada, Lata; Leese, Hannah S.; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Kassen, Sean; Chain, Benny; Khurshid, Sahir; Menzel, Robert; Hu, Sheng; Shaffer, Milo S. P.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2016-02-01

    Controlling crystal nucleation is a crucial step in obtaining high quality protein crystals for structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) including carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide, and carbon black provide a range of surface topographies, porosities and length scales; functionalisation with two different approaches, gas phase radical grafting and liquid phase reductive grafting, provide routes to a range of oligomer functionalised products. These grafted materials, combined with a range of controls, were used in a large-scale assessment of the effectiveness for protein crystal nucleation of 20 different carbon nanomaterials on five proteins. This study has allowed a direct comparison of the key characteristics of carbon-based nucleants: appropriate surface chemistry, porosity and/or roughness are required. The most effective solid system tested in this study, carbon black nanoparticles functionalised with poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether of mean molecular weight 5000, provides a novel highly effective nucleant, that was able to induce crystal nucleation of four out of the five proteins tested at metastable conditions.

  16. Exploring Carbon Nanomaterial Diversity for Nucleation of Protein Crystals.

    PubMed

    Govada, Lata; Leese, Hannah S; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Kassen, Sean; Chain, Benny; Khurshid, Sahir; Menzel, Robert; Hu, Sheng; Shaffer, Milo S P; Chayen, Naomi E

    2016-01-01

    Controlling crystal nucleation is a crucial step in obtaining high quality protein crystals for structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) including carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide, and carbon black provide a range of surface topographies, porosities and length scales; functionalisation with two different approaches, gas phase radical grafting and liquid phase reductive grafting, provide routes to a range of oligomer functionalised products. These grafted materials, combined with a range of controls, were used in a large-scale assessment of the effectiveness for protein crystal nucleation of 20 different carbon nanomaterials on five proteins. This study has allowed a direct comparison of the key characteristics of carbon-based nucleants: appropriate surface chemistry, porosity and/or roughness are required. The most effective solid system tested in this study, carbon black nanoparticles functionalised with poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether of mean molecular weight 5000, provides a novel highly effective nucleant, that was able to induce crystal nucleation of four out of the five proteins tested at metastable conditions. PMID:26843366

  17. Protein sensing by nanofluidic crystal and its signal enhancement.

    PubMed

    Sang, Jianming; Du, Hongtan; Wang, Wei; Chu, Ming; Wang, Yuedan; Li, Haichao; Alice Zhang, Haixia; Wu, Wengang; Li, Zhihong

    2013-01-01

    Nanofluidics has a unique property that ionic conductance across a nanometer-sized confined space is strongly affected by the space surface charge density, which can be utilized to construct electrical read-out biosensor. Based on this principle, this work demonstrated a novel protein sensor along with a sandwich signal enhancement approach. Nanoparticles with designed aptamer onside are assembled in a suspended micropore to form a 3-dimensional network of nanometer-sized interstices, named as nanofluidic crystal hereafter, as the basic sensing unit. Proteins captured by aptamers will change the surface charge density of nanoparticles and thereby can be detected by monitoring the ionic conductance across this nanofluidic crystal. Another aptamer can further enlarge the variations of the surface charge density by forming a sandwich structure (capturing aptamer/protein/signal enhancement aptamer) and the read-out conductance as well. The preliminary experimental results indicated that human α-thrombin was successfully detected by the corresponding aptamer modified nanofluidic crystal with the limit of detection of 5 nM (0.18 μg/ml) and the read-out signal was enhanced up to 3 folds by using another thrombin aptamer. Being easy to graft probe, facile and low-cost to prepare the nano-device, and having an electrical read-out, the present nanofluidic crystal scheme is a promising and universal strategy for protein sensing. PMID:24404017

  18. Heterogeneous Nucleation of Protein Crystals on Fluorinated Layered Silicate

    PubMed Central

    Ino, Keita; Udagawa, Itsumi; Iwabata, Kazuki; Takakusagi, Yoichi; Kubota, Munehiro; Kurosaka, Keiichi; Arai, Kazuhito; Seki, Yasutaka; Nogawa, Masaya; Tsunoda, Tatsuo; Mizukami, Fujio; Taguchi, Hayao; Sakaguchi, Kengo

    2011-01-01

    Here, we describe an improved system for protein crystallization based on heterogeneous nucleation using fluorinated layered silicate. In addition, we also investigated the mechanism of nucleation on the silicate surface. Crystallization of lysozyme using silicates with different chemical compositions indicated that fluorosilicates promoted nucleation whereas the silicates without fluorine did not. The use of synthesized saponites for lysozyme crystallization confirmed that the substitution of hydroxyl groups contained in the lamellae structure for fluorine atoms is responsible for the nucleation-inducing property of the nucleant. Crystallization of twelve proteins with a wide range of pI values revealed that the nucleation promoting effect of the saponites tended to increase with increased substitution rate. Furthermore, the saponite with the highest fluorine content promoted nucleation in all the test proteins regardless of their overall net charge. Adsorption experiments of proteins on the saponites confirmed that the density of adsorbed molecules increased according to the substitution rate, thereby explaining the heterogeneous nucleation on the silicate surface. PMID:21818343

  19. Heterogeneous nucleation of protein crystals on fluorinated layered silicate.

    PubMed

    Ino, Keita; Udagawa, Itsumi; Iwabata, Kazuki; Takakusagi, Yoichi; Kubota, Munehiro; Kurosaka, Keiichi; Arai, Kazuhito; Seki, Yasutaka; Nogawa, Masaya; Tsunoda, Tatsuo; Mizukami, Fujio; Taguchi, Hayao; Sakaguchi, Kengo

    2011-01-01

    Here, we describe an improved system for protein crystallization based on heterogeneous nucleation using fluorinated layered silicate. In addition, we also investigated the mechanism of nucleation on the silicate surface. Crystallization of lysozyme using silicates with different chemical compositions indicated that fluorosilicates promoted nucleation whereas the silicates without fluorine did not. The use of synthesized saponites for lysozyme crystallization confirmed that the substitution of hydroxyl groups contained in the lamellae structure for fluorine atoms is responsible for the nucleation-inducing property of the nucleant. Crystallization of twelve proteins with a wide range of pI values revealed that the nucleation promoting effect of the saponites tended to increase with increased substitution rate. Furthermore, the saponite with the highest fluorine content promoted nucleation in all the test proteins regardless of their overall net charge. Adsorption experiments of proteins on the saponites confirmed that the density of adsorbed molecules increased according to the substitution rate, thereby explaining the heterogeneous nucleation on the silicate surface. PMID:21818343

  20. Heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled biomineralizaiton proteins in calcite crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chuang; Xie, Liping; Zhang, Rongqing

    2015-12-01

    Biominerals are highly ordered crystals mediated by organic matters especially proteins in organisms. However, how specific proteins are distributed inside biominerals are not well understood. In the present study, we use fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) to label extracted proteins from the shells of bivalve Pinctada fucata. By confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), we observe a heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled proteins inside synthetic calcite at the microscale. Proteins from the prismatic calcite layers accumulate at the edge of crystals while proteins from the nacreous aragonite layers accumulate at the center of crystals. Raman and X-ray powder diffraction show that both the proteins cannot alter the crystal phase. Scanning electron microscope demonstrates both proteins are able to affect the crystal morphology. This study may provide a direct approach for the visualization of protein distributions in crystals by small-molecule dye-labelled proteins as the additives in the crystallization process and improve our understanding of intracrystalline proteins distribution in biogenic calcites.

  1. The Growth of Protein Crystals Using McDUCK

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewing, Felicia; Wilson, Lori; Nadarajah, Arunan; Pusey, Marc

    1998-01-01

    Most of the current microgravity crystal growth hardware is optimized to produce crystals within the limited time available on orbit. This often results in the actual nucleation and growth process being rushed or the system not coming to equilibrium within the limited time available. Longer duration hardware exists, but one cannot readily pick out crystals grown early versus those which nucleated and grew more slowly. We have devised a long duration apparatus, the Multi-chamber Dialysis Unit for Crystallization Kinetics, or McDUCK. This apparatus-is a series of protein chambers, stacked upon a precipitant reservoir chamber. All chambers are separated by a dialysis membrane, which serves to pass small molecules while retaining the protein. The volume of the Precipitant chamber is equal to the sum of the volumes of the protein chamber. In operation, the appropriate chambers are filled with precipitant solution or protein solution, and the McDUCK is placed standing upright, with the precipitant chamber on the bottom. The precipitant diffuses upwards over time, with the time to reach equilibration a function of the diffusivity of the precipitant and the overall length of the diffusion pathway. Typical equilibration times are approximately 2-4 months, and one can readily separate rapid from slow nucleation and growth crystals. An advantage on Earth is that the vertical precipitant concentration gradient dominates that of the solute, thus dampening out solute density gradient driven convective flows. However, large Earth-grown crystals have so far tended to be more two dimensional. Preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of lysozyme crystals grown in McDUCK have indicated that the best, and largest, come from the middle chambers, suggesting that there is an optimal growth rate. Further, the improvements in diffraction resolution have been better signal to noise ratios in the low resolution data, not an increase in resolution overall. Due to the persistently large crystals

  2. [Protein crystals and tubuli bundles in yeast cells. V. Enrichment of crystal and tubuli proteins during O2 limitation and anaerobiosis].

    PubMed

    May, R; Jacob, H E; Müller, H; Meyer, H W

    1976-01-01

    Cells of Saccharomyces carlsbergensis contain proteins assembling to crystals and bundles of tubules (tb) in the cyto- and karyoplasm by osmotic shock with hypertonic solutions. The cellular concentration of these proteins is regulated by oxygen pressure during growth. In cells grown at optimal aeration the protein level is low and crystals and tb cannot be induced. After a short period of O2-limitation or anerobic growth conditions the protein concentration increases and induction of crystals and tb is possible. PMID:969567

  3. Understanding the fabric of protein crystals: computational classification of biological interfaces and crystal contacts

    PubMed Central

    Capitani, Guido; Duarte, Jose M.; Baskaran, Kumaran; Bliven, Spencer; Somody, Joseph C.

    2016-01-01

    Modern structural biology still draws the vast majority of information from crystallography, a technique where the objects being investigated are embedded in a crystal lattice. Given the complexity and variety of those objects, it becomes fundamental to computationally assess which of the interfaces in the lattice are biologically relevant and which are simply crystal contacts. Since the mid-1990s, several approaches have been applied to obtain high-accuracy classification of crystal contacts and biological protein–protein interfaces. This review provides an overview of the concepts and main approaches to protein interface classification: thermodynamic estimation of interface stability, evolutionary approaches based on conservation of interface residues, and co-occurrence of the interface across different crystal forms. Among the three categories, evolutionary approaches offer the strongest promise for improvement, thanks to the incessant growth in sequence knowledge. Importantly, protein interface classification algorithms can also be used on multimeric structures obtained using other high-resolution techniques or for protein assembly design or validation purposes. A key issue linked to protein interface classification is the identification of the biological assembly of a crystal structure and the analysis of its symmetry. Here, we highlight the most important concepts and problems to be overcome in assembly prediction. Over the next few years, tools and concepts of interface classification will probably become more frequently used and integrated in several areas of structural biology and structural bioinformatics. Among the main challenges for the future are better addressing of weak interfaces and the application of interface classification concepts to prediction problems like protein–protein docking. Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. Contact: guido.capitani@psi.ch PMID:26508758

  4. Protein purification and crystallization artifacts: The tale usually not told.

    PubMed

    Niedzialkowska, Ewa; Gasiorowska, Olga; Handing, Katarzyna B; Majorek, Karolina A; Porebski, Przemyslaw J; Shabalin, Ivan G; Zasadzinska, Ewelina; Cymborowski, Marcin; Minor, Wladek

    2016-03-01

    The misidentification of a protein sample, or contamination of a sample with the wrong protein, may be a potential reason for the non-reproducibility of experiments. This problem may occur in the process of heterologous overexpression and purification of recombinant proteins, as well as purification of proteins from natural sources. If the contaminated or misidentified sample is used for crystallization, in many cases the problem may not be detected until structures are determined. In the case of functional studies, the problem may not be detected for years. Here several procedures that can be successfully used for the identification of crystallized protein contaminants, including: (i) a lattice parameter search against known structures, (ii) sequence or fold identification from partially built models, and (iii) molecular replacement with common contaminants as search templates have been presented. A list of common contaminant structures to be used as alternative search models was provided. These methods were used to identify four cases of purification and crystallization artifacts. This report provides troubleshooting pointers for researchers facing difficulties in phasing or model building. PMID:26660914

  5. Measurement of the intrinsic variability within protein crystals: implications for sample-evaluation and data-collection strategies

    PubMed Central

    Bowler, Michael G.; Bowler, Matthew W.

    2014-01-01

    The advent of micro-focused X-ray beams has led to the development of a number of advanced methods of sample evaluation and data collection. In particular, multiple-position data-collection and helical oscillation strategies are now becoming commonplace in order to alleviate the problems associated with radiation damage. However, intra-crystal and inter-crystal variation means that it is not always obvious on which crystals or on which region or regions of a crystal these protocols should be performed. For the automation of this process for large-scale screening, and to provide an indication of the best strategy for data collection, a metric of crystal variability could be useful. Here, measures of the intrinsic variability within protein crystals are presented and their implications for optimal data-collection strategies are discussed. PMID:24419635

  6. Protein-directed self-assembly of a fullerene crystal

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kook-Han; Ko, Dong-Kyun; Kim, Yong-Tae; Kim, Nam Hyeong; Paul, Jaydeep; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Murray, Christopher B.; Acharya, Rudresh; DeGrado, William F.; Kim, Yong Ho; Grigoryan, Gevorg

    2016-01-01

    Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties. Here we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene (C60) into ordered superstructures. A previously engineered tetrameric helical bundle binds C60 in solution, rendering it water soluble. Two tetramers associate with one C60, promoting further organization revealed in a 1.67-Å crystal structure. Fullerene groups occupy periodic lattice sites, sandwiched between two Tyr residues from adjacent tetramers. Strikingly, the assembly exhibits high charge conductance, whereas both the protein-alone crystal and amorphous C60 are electrically insulating. The affinity of C60 for its crystal-binding site is estimated to be in the nanomolar range, with lattices of known protein crystals geometrically compatible with incorporating the motif. Taken together, these findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design. PMID:27113637

  7. Protein-directed self-assembly of a fullerene crystal.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kook-Han; Ko, Dong-Kyun; Kim, Yong-Tae; Kim, Nam Hyeong; Paul, Jaydeep; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Murray, Christopher B; Acharya, Rudresh; DeGrado, William F; Kim, Yong Ho; Grigoryan, Gevorg

    2016-01-01

    Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties. Here we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene (C60) into ordered superstructures. A previously engineered tetrameric helical bundle binds C60 in solution, rendering it water soluble. Two tetramers associate with one C60, promoting further organization revealed in a 1.67-Å crystal structure. Fullerene groups occupy periodic lattice sites, sandwiched between two Tyr residues from adjacent tetramers. Strikingly, the assembly exhibits high charge conductance, whereas both the protein-alone crystal and amorphous C60 are electrically insulating. The affinity of C60 for its crystal-binding site is estimated to be in the nanomolar range, with lattices of known protein crystals geometrically compatible with incorporating the motif. Taken together, these findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design. PMID:27113637

  8. Four crystal forms of a Bence-Jones protein

    SciTech Connect

    Makino, Debora L.; Henschen-Edman, Agnes H.; McPherson, Alexander

    2005-01-01

    Four crystal forms have been grown and characterized by X-ray diffraction of a Bence-Jones protein collected from the urine of a multiple myeloma patient more than 40 y ago. The trigonal crystal form may shed some light on the formation of fibrils common to certain storage diseases. Four crystal forms have been grown and characterized by X-ray diffraction of a Bence-Jones protein collected from the urine of a multiple myeloma patient more than 40 years ago. Closely related tetragonal and orthorhombic forms belonging to space groups P4{sub 3}2{sub 1}2 and P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 68.7, c = 182.1 and a = 67.7, b = 69.4, c = 87.3 Å, diffract to 1.5 and 1.9 Å, respectively. Two closely related trigonal forms, both belonging to space group P3{sub 1}21 with unit-cell parameters a = b = 154.3 Å but differing by a doubling of the c axis, one 46.9 Å and the other 94.0 Å, diffract to 2.9 and 2.6 Å resolution, respectively. The trigonal crystal of short c-axis length shows a positive indication of twinning. The trigonal crystal of longer c axis, which appeared only after eight months of incubation at room temperature, is likely to be composed of proteolytically degraded molecules and unlike the other crystal forms contains two entire Bence-Jones dimers in the asymmetric unit. This latter crystal form may shed some light on the formation of fibrils common to certain storage diseases.

  9. Laser Scattering Tomography for the Study of Defects in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.; DeLucas, Lawrence; DeMattei, R. C.

    1997-01-01

    The goal of this research is to explore the application of the non-destructive technique of Laser Scattering Tomography (LST) to study the defects in protein crystals and relate them to the x-ray diffraction performance of the crystals. LST has been used successfully for the study of defects in inorganic crystals and. in the case of lysozyme, for protein crystals.

  10. Using Green and Red Fluorescent Proteins to Teach Protein Expression, Purification, and Crystallization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Yifeng; Zhou, Yangbin; Song, Jiaping; Hu, Xiaojian; Ding, Yu; Zhang, Zhihong

    2008-01-01

    We have designed a laboratory curriculum using the green and red fluorescent proteins (GFP and RFP) to visualize the cloning, expression, chromatography purification, crystallization, and protease-cleavage experiments of protein science. The EGFP and DsRed monomer (mDsRed)-coding sequences were amplified by PCR and cloned into pMAL (MBP-EGFP) or…

  11. Protein crystals on phase-separating model membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manley, Suliana; Horton, Margaret; Leszczynski, Szymon; Gast, Alice

    2006-03-01

    We study the interplay between the crystallization of proteins tethered to membranes and separation within the membranes of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) composed of DOPC, sphingomyelin (SM), and cholesterol. These model membranes phase separate into coexisting liquid domains below a miscibility transition temperature. This phase separation captures some aspects of the formation of lipid rafts in cell membranes and demonstrates the influence of membrane composition on raft formation. Real cell membranes have a much more complicated structure. There are additional physical constraints present in cell membranes, such as their attachment to the cytoskeleton and the presence of membrane bound proteins. The self-association of membrane proteins can influence the membrane phase behavior. We begin to investigate these effects on model tethered protein- loaded membranes by incorporating a small amount of biotin-X- DPPE into our GUVs. The biotinylated lipid partitions into a cholesterol-poor phase; thus, streptavidin binds preferentially to one of the membrane phases. As streptavidin assembles to form crystalline domains, it restricts the membrane mobility. We examine the effect of this protein association on lipid phase separation, as well as the effect of the lipid phase separation on the crystallization of the tethered proteins.

  12. Protein crystal growth; Proceedings of the First International Conference, Stanford University, CA, August 14-16, 1985

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, R. S. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Papers are presented on mechanisms of nucleation and growth of protein crystals, the role of purification in the crystallization of proteins and nucleic acids, and the effect of chemical impurities in polyethylene glycol on macromolecular crystallization. Also considered are growth kinetics of tetragonal lysozyme crystals, thermodynamic and kinetic considerations for crystal growth of complex molecules from solution, protein single-crystal growth under microgravity, and growth of organic crystals in a microgravity environment. Papers are also presented on preliminary investigations of protein crystal growth using the Space Shuttle, convective diffusion in protein crystal growth, and the growth and characterization of membrane protein crystals.

  13. Advances in extrusion for texturized whey proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dairy proteins like whey proteins play an important role in human nutrition because of their characteristic structure and associated numerous benefits such as ease of digestion, in- vivo assimilation, creating new or maintaining the muscle mass and the unique ability of boosting immune functions. W...

  14. An overview of heavy-atom derivatization of protein crystals

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Ashley C. W.; Garman, Elspeth F.; Krojer, Tobias; von Delft, Frank; Carpenter, Elisabeth P.

    2016-01-01

    Heavy-atom derivatization is one of the oldest techniques for obtaining phase information for protein crystals and, although it is no longer the first choice, it remains a useful technique for obtaining phases for unknown structures and for low-resolution data sets. It is also valuable for confirming the chain trace in low-resolution electron-density maps. This overview provides a summary of the technique and is aimed at first-time users of the method. It includes guidelines on when to use it, which heavy atoms are most likely to work, how to prepare heavy-atom solutions, how to derivatize crystals and how to determine whether a crystal is in fact a derivative. PMID:26960118

  15. Screening and Crystallization Plates for Manual and High-throughput Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorne, Robert E. (Inventor); Berejnov, Viatcheslav (Inventor); Kalinin, Yevgeniy (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    In one embodiment, a crystallization and screening plate comprises a plurality of cells open at a top and a bottom, a frame that defines the cells in the plate, and at least two films. The first film seals a top of the plate and the second film seals a bottom of the plate. At least one of the films is patterned to strongly pin the contact lines of drops dispensed onto it, fixing their position and shape. The present invention also includes methods and other devices for manual and high-throughput protein crystal growth.

  16. Effects of impurities on membrane-protein crystallization in different systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kors, Christopher A.; Wallace, Ellen; Davies, Douglas R.; Li, Liang; Laible, Philip D.; Nollert, Peter

    2009-10-01

    The effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes are investigated and it is found that the lipidic cubic phase crystallization methodology is the most robust, tolerating protein contamination levels of up to 50%, with little effect on crystal quality. If generally applicable, this tolerance may be exploited (i) in initial crystallization trials to determine the ‘crystallizability’ of a given membrane-protein and (ii) to subject partially pure membrane-protein samples to crystallization trials. When starting a protein-crystallization project, scientists are faced with several unknowns. Amongst them are these questions: (i) is the purity of the starting material sufficient? and (ii) which type of crystallization experiment is the most promising to conduct? The difficulty in purifying active membrane-protein samples for crystallization trials and the high costs associated with producing such samples require an extremely pragmatic approach. Additionally, practical guidelines are needed to increase the efficiency of membrane-protein crystallization. In order to address these conundrums, the effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes have been investigated and it was found that the lipidic cubic phase (LCP) based crystallization methodology is more robust than crystallization in detergent environments using vapor diffusion or microbatch approaches in its ability to tolerate contamination in the forms of protein, lipid or other general membrane components. LCP-based crystallizations produced crystals of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides from samples with substantial levels of residual impurities. Crystals were obtained with protein contamination levels of up to 50% and the addition of lipid material and membrane fragments to pure samples of RC had little effect on the number or on the quality of crystals obtained in LCP

  17. Crystal growth of proteins, nucleic acids, and viruses in gels.

    PubMed

    Lorber, Bernard; Sauter, Claude; Théobald-Dietrich, Anne; Moreno, Abel; Schellenberger, Pascale; Robert, Marie-Claire; Capelle, Bernard; Sanglier, Sarah; Potier, Noëlle; Giegé, Richard

    2009-11-01

    Medium-sized single crystals with perfect habits and no defect producing intense and well-resolved diffraction patterns are the dream of every protein crystallographer. Crystals of biological macromolecules possessing these characteristics can be prepared within a medium in which mass transport is restricted to diffusion. Chemical gels (like polysiloxane) and physical gels (such as agarose) provide such an environment and are therefore suitable for the crystallisation of biological macromolecules. Instructions for the preparation of each type of gel are given to urge crystal growers to apply diffusive media for enhancing crystallographic quality of their crystals. Examples of quality enhancement achieved with silica and agarose gels are given. Results obtained with other substances forming gel-like media (such as lipidic phases and cellulose derivatives) are presented. Finally, the use of gels in combination with capillary tubes for counter-diffusion experiments is discussed. Methods and techniques implemented with proteins can also be applied to nucleic acids and nucleoprotein assemblies such as viruses. PMID:20005247

  18. Protein Crystal Growth Samples Placed Aboard Mir Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Astronaut Tom Akers places a liquid nitrogen Dewar containing frozen protein solutions aboard Russia's space Station Mir during a visit by the Space Shuttle (STS-79). The protein samples were flash-frozen on Earth and will be allowed to thaw and crystallize in the microgravity environment on Mir Space Station. A later crew will return the Dewar to Earth for sample analysis. Dr. Alexander McPherson of the University of California at Riverside is the principal investigator. Photo credit: NASA/Johnson Space Center.

  19. Protein Crystal Growth Samples Placed Aboard Mir Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Astronaut Michael Clifford places a liquid nitrogen Dewar containing frozen protein solutions aboard Russia's space station Mir during a visit by the Space Shuttle (STS-76). The protein samples were flash-frozen on Earth and will be allowed to thaw and crystallize in the microgravity environment on Mir Space Station. A later crew will return the Dewar to Earth for sample analysis. Dr. Alexander McPherson of the University of California at Riverside is the principal investigator. Photo credit: NASA/Johnson Space Center.

  20. Protein secretion in Pichia pastoris and advances in protein production.

    PubMed

    Damasceno, Leonardo M; Huang, Chung-Jr; Batt, Carl A

    2012-01-01

    Yeast expression systems have been successfully used for over 20 years for the production of recombinant proteins. With the growing interest in recombinant protein expression for various uses, yeast expression systems, such as the popular Pichia pastoris, are becoming increasingly important. Although P. pastoris has been successfully used in the production of many secreted and intracellular recombinant proteins, there is still room for improvement of this expression system. In particular, secretion of recombinant proteins is still one of the main reasons for using P. pastoris. Therefore, endoplasmic reticulum protein folding, correct glycosylation, vesicular transport to the plasma membrane, gene dosage, secretion signal sequences, and secretome studies are important considerations for improved recombinant protein production. PMID:22057543

  1. Crystal structure of Homo sapiens protein LOC79017

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, Euiyoung; Bingman, Craig A.; Aceti, David J.; Phillips, Jr., George N.

    2010-02-08

    LOC79017 (MW 21.0 kDa, residues 1-188) was annotated as a hypothetical protein encoded by Homo sapiens chromosome 7 open reading frame 24. It was selected as a target by the Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics (CESG) because it did not share more than 30% sequence identity with any protein for which the three-dimensional structure is known. The biological function of the protein has not been established yet. Parts of LOC79017 were identified as members of uncharacterized Pfam families (residues 1-95 as PB006073 and residues 104-180 as PB031696). BLAST searches revealed homologues of LOC79017 in many eukaryotes, but none of them have been functionally characterized. Here, we report the crystal structure of H. sapiens protein LOC79017 (UniGene code Hs.530024, UniProt code O75223, CESG target number go.35223).

  2. The first crystal structure of an archaeal helical repeat protein

    PubMed Central

    Yoneda, Kazunari; Sakuraba, Haruhiko; Tsuge, Hideaki; Katunuma, Nobuhiko; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Kawabata, Takeshi; Ohshima, Toshihisa

    2005-01-01

    The crystal structure of ST1625p, a protein encoded by a hypothetical open reading frame ST1625 in the genome of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus tokodaii, was determined at 2.2 Å resolution. The only sequence similarity exhibited by the amino-acid sequence of ST1625p was a 33% identity with the sequence of SSO0983p from S. solfataricus. The 19 kDa monomeric protein was observed to consist of a right-handed superhelix assembled from a tandem repeat of ten α-­helices. A structural homology search using the DALI and MATRAS algorithms indicates that this protein can be classified as a helical repeat protein. PMID:16511116

  3. Recent results and new hardware developments for protein crystal growth in microactivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, L. J.; Long, M. M.; Moore, K. M.; Smith, C.; Carson, M.; Narayana, S. V. L.; Carter, D.; Clark, A. D., Jr.; Nanni, R. G.; Ding, J.

    1993-01-01

    Protein crystal growth experiments have been performed on 16 space shuttle missions since April, 1985. The initial experiments utilized vapor diffusion crystallization techniques similar to those used in laboratories for earth-based experiments. More recent experiments have utilized temperature induced crystallization as an alternative method for growing high quality protein crystals in microgravity. Results from both vapor diffusion and temperature induced crystallization experiments indicate that proteins grown in microgravity may be larger, display more uniform morphologies, and yield diffraction data to significantly higher resolutions than the best crystals of these proteins grown on earth.

  4. From protein structure to function via single crystal optical spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ronda, Luca; Bruno, Stefano; Bettati, Stefano; Storici, Paola; Mozzarelli, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    The more than 100,000 protein structures determined by X-ray crystallography provide a wealth of information for the characterization of biological processes at the molecular level. However, several crystallographic “artifacts,” including conformational selection, crystallization conditions and radiation damages, may affect the quality and the interpretation of the electron density maps, thus limiting the relevance of structure determinations. Moreover, for most of these structures, no functional data have been obtained in the crystalline state, thus posing serious questions on their validity in infereing protein mechanisms. In order to solve these issues, spectroscopic methods have been applied for the determination of equilibrium and kinetic properties of proteins in the crystalline state. These methods are UV-vis spectrophotometry, spectrofluorimetry, IR, EPR, Raman, and resonance Raman spectroscopy. Some of these approaches have been implemented with on-line instruments at X-ray synchrotron beamlines. Here, we provide an overview of investigations predominantly carried out in our laboratory by single crystal polarized absorption UV-vis microspectrophotometry, the most applied technique for the functional characterization of proteins in the crystalline state. Studies on hemoglobins, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate dependent enzymes and green fluorescent protein in the crystalline state have addressed key biological issues, leading to either straightforward structure-function correlations or limitations to structure-based mechanisms. PMID:25988179

  5. Conformational Exchange in a Membrane Transport Protein Is Altered in Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Freed, Daniel M.; Horanyi, Peter S.; Wiener, Michael C.; Cafiso, David S.

    2010-09-27

    Successful macromolecular crystallography requires solution conditions that may alter the conformational sampling of a macromolecule. Here, site-directed spin labeling is used to examine a conformational equilibrium within BtuB, the Escherichia coli outer membrane transporter for vitamin B{sub 12}. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from a spin label placed within the N-terminal energy coupling motif (Ton box) of BtuB indicate that this segment is in equilibrium between folded and unfolded forms. In bilayers, substrate binding shifts this equilibrium toward the unfolded form; however, EPR spectra from this same spin-labeled mutant indicate that this unfolding transition is blocked in protein crystals. Moreover, crystal structures of this spin-labeled mutant are consistent with the EPR result. When the free energy difference between substates is estimated from the EPR spectra, the crystal environment is found to alter this energy by 3 kcal/mol when compared to the bilayer state. Approximately half of this energy change is due to solutes or osmolytes in the crystallization buffer, and the remainder is contributed by the crystal lattice. These data provide a quantitative measure of how a conformational equilibrium in BtuB is modified in the crystal environment, and suggest that more-compact, less-hydrated substates will be favored in protein crystals.

  6. Conformational Exchange in a Membrane Transport Protein Is Altered in Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    D Freed; P Horanyi; M Wiener; D Cafiso

    2011-12-31

    Successful macromolecular crystallography requires solution conditions that may alter the conformational sampling of a macromolecule. Here, site-directed spin labeling is used to examine a conformational equilibrium within BtuB, the Escherichia coli outer membrane transporter for vitamin B{sub 12}. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from a spin label placed within the N-terminal energy coupling motif (Ton box) of BtuB indicate that this segment is in equilibrium between folded and unfolded forms. In bilayers, substrate binding shifts this equilibrium toward the unfolded form; however, EPR spectra from this same spin-labeled mutant indicate that this unfolding transition is blocked in protein crystals. Moreover, crystal structures of this spin-labeled mutant are consistent with the EPR result. When the free energy difference between substates is estimated from the EPR spectra, the crystal environment is found to alter this energy by 3 kcal/mol when compared to the bilayer state. Approximately half of this energy change is due to solutes or osmolytes in the crystallization buffer, and the remainder is contributed by the crystal lattice. These data provide a quantitative measure of how a conformational equilibrium in BtuB is modified in the crystal environment, and suggest that more-compact, less-hydrated substates will be favored in protein crystals.

  7. Microgravity polymer and crystal growth at the Advanced Materials Center for the Commercial Development of Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccauley, Lisa A.

    1990-01-01

    The microgravity research programs currently conducted by the Advanced Materials Center for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) are briefly reviewed. Polymer processing in space, which constitutes the most active microgravity program at the Advanced Materials CCDS, is conducted in three areas: membrane processing, multiphase composite behavior, and plasma polymerization. Current work in microgravity crystal growth is discussed with particular reference to the development of the Zeolite Crystal Growth facility.

  8. Detection of Membrane Protein Two-Dimensional Crystals in Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gualtieri, E.J.; Guo, F.; Kissick, D.J.; Jose, J.; Kuhn, R.J.; Jiang, W.; Simpson, G.J.

    2011-01-01

    It is notoriously difficult to grow membrane protein crystals and solve membrane protein structures. Improved detection and screening of membrane protein crystals are needed. We have shown here that second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals based on second harmonic generation can provide sensitive and selective detection of two-dimensional protein crystalline arrays with sufficiently low background to enable crystal detection within the membranes of live cells. The method was validated using bacteriorhodopsin crystals generated in live Halobacterium halobium bacteria and confirmed by electron microscopy from the isolated crystals. Additional studies of alphavirus glycoproteins indicated the presence of localized crystalline domains associated with virus budding from mammalian cells. These results suggest that in vivo crystallization may provide a means for expediting membrane protein structure determination for proteins exhibiting propensities for two-dimensional crystal formation. PMID:21190673

  9. Effects of impurities on membrane-protein crystallization in different systems

    PubMed Central

    Kors, Christopher A.; Wallace, Ellen; Davies, Douglas R.; Li, Liang; Laible, Philip D.; Nollert, Peter

    2009-01-01

    When starting a protein-crystallization project, scientists are faced with several unknowns. Amongst them are these questions: (i) is the purity of the starting material sufficient? and (ii) which type of crystallization experiment is the most promising to conduct? The difficulty in purifying active membrane-protein samples for crystallization trials and the high costs associated with producing such samples require an extremely pragmatic approach. Additionally, practical guidelines are needed to increase the efficiency of membrane-protein crystallization. In order to address these conundrums, the effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes have been investigated and it was found that the lipidic cubic phase (LCP) based crystallization methodology is more robust than crystallization in detergent environments using vapor diffusion or microbatch approaches in its ability to tolerate contamination in the forms of protein, lipid or other general membrane components. LCP-based crystallizations produced crystals of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides from samples with substantial levels of residual impurities. Crystals were obtained with protein contamination levels of up to 50% and the addition of lipid material and membrane fragments to pure samples of RC had little effect on the number or on the quality of crystals obtained in LCP-based crystallization screens. If generally applicable, this tolerance for impurities may avoid the need for samples of ultrahigh purity when undertaking initial crystallization screening trials to determine preliminary crystallization conditions that can be optimized for a given target protein. PMID:19770503

  10. Protein crystal growth results from shuttle flight 51-F

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.

    1985-01-01

    The protein crystal growth (PCG) experiments run on 51-F were analyzed. It was found that: (1) sample stability is increased over that observed during the experiments on flight 51-D; (2) the dialysis experiments produced lysozyme crystals that were significantly larger than those obtained in our identical ground-based studies; (3) temperature fluctuations apparently caused problems during the crystallization experiments on 51-F; (4) it is indicated that teflon tape stabilizes droplets on the syringe tips; (5) samples survived during the reentry and landing in glass tips that were not stoppered with plungers; (6) from the ground-based studies, it was expected that equilibration should be complete within 2 to 4 days for all of these vapor-diffusion experiments, thus it appears that the vapor diffusion rates are somewhat slower under microgravity conditions; (7) drop tethering was highly successful, all four of the tethered drops were stable, even though they contained MPD solutions; (8) the PCG experiments on 51-F were done to assess the hardware and experimental procedures that are developed for future flights, when temperature control will be available. Lysozyme crystals obtained by microdialysis are considerably larger than those obtained on the ground, using the identical apparatus and procedures.

  11. Correlated Protein Motion Measurements of Dihydrofolate Reductase Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Mengyang; Niessen, Katherine; Pace, James; Cody, Vivian; Markelz, Andrea

    2014-03-01

    We report the first direct measurements of the long range structural vibrational modes in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). DHFR is a universal housekeeping enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of 7,8-dihydrofolate to 5,6,7,8-tetra-hydrofolate, with the aid of coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). This crucial enzymatic role as the target for anti-cancer [methotrexate (MTX)], and other clinically useful drugs, has made DHFR a long-standing target of enzymological studies. The terahertz (THz) frequency range (5-100 cm-1), corresponds to global correlated protein motions. In our lab we have developed Crystal Anisotropy Terahertz Microscopy (CATM), which directly measures these large scale intra-molecular protein vibrations, by removing the relaxational background of the solvent and residue side chain librational motions. We demonstrate narrowband features in the anisotropic absorbance for mouse DHFR with the ligand binding of NADPH and MTX single crystals as well as Escherichia coli DHFR with the ligand binding of NADPH and MTX single crystals. This work is supported by NSF grant MRI2 grant DBI2959989.

  12. Protein-detergent interactions in single crystals of membrane proteins studied by neutron crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Timmins, P.A.; Pebay-Peyroula, E.

    1994-12-31

    The detergent micelles surrounding membrane protein molecules in single crystals can be investigated using neutron crystallography combined with H{sub 2}O/D{sub 2}O contrast variation. If the protein structure is known then the contrast variation method allows phases to be determined at a contrast where the detergent dominates the scattering. The application of various constraints allows the resulting scattering length density map to be realistically modeled. The method has been applied to two different forms of the membrane protein porin. In one case both hydrogenated and partially deuterated protein were used, allowing the head group and tail to be distinguished.

  13. Competitive Adsorption of Plasma Proteins Using a Quartz Crystal Microbalance.

    PubMed

    Felgueiras, Helena P; Murthy, N Sanjeeva; Sommerfeld, Sven D; Brás, M Manuela; Migonney, Véronique; Kohn, Joachim

    2016-06-01

    Proteins that get adsorbed onto the surfaces of biomaterials immediately upon their implantation mediate the interactions between the material and the environment. This process, in which proteins in a complex mixture compete for adsorption sites on the surface, is determined by the physicochemical interactions at the interface. Competitive adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA), fibronectin (Fn), and collagen type I (Col I), sequentially and from mixtures, was investigated so as to understand the performances of different surfaces used in biomedical applications. A quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation was used to monitor the adsorption of these proteins onto two materials used in functional bone replacement, a titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) and Ti6Al4V physisorbed with poly(sodium styrenesulfonate) [poly(NaSS)], and three controls, gold, poly(desaminotyrosyltyrosine ethyl ester carbonate) [poly(DTEc)], and polystyrene (PS). In experiments with individual proteins, the adsorption was the highest with Fn and Col I and the least with BSA. Also, protein adsorption was the highest on poly(NaSS) and Ti6Al4V and the least on poly(DTEc). In sequential adsorption experiments, protein exchange was observed in BSA + Fn, Fn + Col I, and BSA + Col I sequences but not in Fn + BSA and Col I + BSA because of the lower affinity of BSA to surfaces relative to Fn and Col I. Protein adsorption was the highest with Col I + Fn on hydrophobic surfaces. In experiments with protein mixtures, with BSA & Fn, Fn appears to be preferentially adsorbed; with Fn & Col I, both proteins were adsorbed, probably as multilayers; and with Col I & BSA, the total amount of protein was the highest, greater than that in sequential and individual adsorption of the two proteins, probably because of the formation of BSA and Col I complexes. Protein conformational changes induced by the adsorbing surfaces, protein-protein interactions, and affinities of proteins appear to be the important factors that

  14. Protein crystal growth on the Russian segment of the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnova, E. A.; Kislitsyn, Yu. A.; Sosfenov, N. I.; Lyashenko, A. V.; Popov, A. N.; Baĭdus', A. N.; Timofeev, V. I.; Kuranova, I. P.

    2009-09-01

    Experiments on protein crystallization on the Russian segment of the International Space Station were started in 2005. These experiments were performed in the Modul’-1 protein crystallization apparatus specially designed for crystal growth by the free-interface-diffusion method. This paper describes experiments on the crystallization of lysozyme, carboxypeptidase B, and recombinant human insulin on Earth and in microgravity using the Modul’-1 protein crystallization apparatus during the ISS-11-ISS-14 space flights. Crystals of all proteins grown in microgravity have larger sizes than those grown on Earth. Space-grown crystals of lysozyme and insulin characterized by X-ray diffraction were shown to diffract to higher resolution than the Earth-grown crystals. The three-dimensional structures of Zn-insulin crystals grown both on Earth and in microgravity were established. The conformation of the Zn-insulin hexamer in the crystalline state is described.

  15. Organic crystal-binding peptides: morphology control and one-pot formation of protein-displaying organic crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niide, Teppei; Ozawa, Kyohei; Nakazawa, Hikaru; Oliveira, Daniel; Kasai, Hitoshi; Onodera, Mari; Asano, Ryutaro; Kumagai, Izumi; Umetsu, Mitsuo

    2015-11-01

    Crystalline assemblies of fluorescent molecules have different functional properties than the constituent monomers, as well as unique optical characteristics that depend on the structure, size, and morphological homogeneity of the crystal particles. In this study, we selected peptides with affinity for the surface of perylene crystal particles by exposing a peptide-displaying phage library in aqueous solution to perylene crystals, eluting the surface-bound phages by means of acidic desorption or liquid-liquid extraction, and amplifying the obtained phages in Escherichia coli. One of the perylene-binding peptides, PeryBPb1: VQHNTKYSVVIR, selected by this biopanning procedure induced perylene molecules to form homogenous planar crystal nanoparticles by means of a poor solvent method, and fusion of the peptide to a fluorescent protein enabled one-pot formation of protein-immobilized crystalline nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were well-dispersed in aqueous solution, and Förster resonance energy transfer from the perylene crystals to the fluorescent protein was observed. Our results show that the crystal-binding peptide could be used for simultaneous control of perylene crystal morphology and dispersion and protein immobilization on the crystals.Crystalline assemblies of fluorescent molecules have different functional properties than the constituent monomers, as well as unique optical characteristics that depend on the structure, size, and morphological homogeneity of the crystal particles. In this study, we selected peptides with affinity for the surface of perylene crystal particles by exposing a peptide-displaying phage library in aqueous solution to perylene crystals, eluting the surface-bound phages by means of acidic desorption or liquid-liquid extraction, and amplifying the obtained phages in Escherichia coli. One of the perylene-binding peptides, PeryBPb1: VQHNTKYSVVIR, selected by this biopanning procedure induced perylene molecules to form homogenous planar

  16. Powder diffraction from a continuous microjet of submicrometer protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, D A; Chapman, H N; Deponte, D; Doak, R B; Fromme, P; Hembree, G; Hunter, M; Marchesini, S; Schmidt, K; Spence, J; Starodub, D; Weierstall, U

    2008-11-01

    Atomic-resolution structures from small proteins have recently been determined from high-quality powder diffraction patterns using a combination of stereochemical restraints and Rietveld refinement [Von Dreele (2007), J. Appl. Cryst. 40, 133-143; Margiolaki et al. (2007), J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129, 11865-11871]. While powder diffraction data have been obtained from batch samples of small crystal-suspensions, which are exposed to X-rays for long periods of time and undergo significant radiation damage, the proof-of-concept that protein powder diffraction data from nanocrystals of a membrane protein can be obtained using a continuous microjet is shown. This flow-focusing aerojet has been developed to deliver a solution of hydrated protein nanocrystals to an X-ray beam for diffraction analysis. This method requires neither the crushing of larger polycrystalline samples nor any techniques to avoid radiation damage such as cryocooling. Apparatus to record protein powder diffraction in this manner has been commissioned, and in this paper the first powder diffraction patterns from a membrane protein, photosystem I, with crystallite sizes of less than 500 nm are presented. These preliminary patterns show the lowest-order reflections, which agree quantitatively with theoretical calculations of the powder profile. The results also serve to test our aerojet injector system, with future application to femtosecond diffraction in free-electron X-ray laser schemes, and for serial crystallography using a single-file beam of aligned hydrated molecules. PMID:18955765

  17. Membrane Protein Structure Determination Using Crystallography and Lipidic Mesophases - Recent Advances and Successes

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Li, Dianfan; Dukkipati, Abhiram

    2012-01-01

    activity of membrane proteins reconstituted into the bilayer of the cubic phase as a prelude to crystallogenesis. Glass crystallization plates have been built that provide unparalleled optical quality and sensitivity to nascent crystals. Lipid and precipitant screens have been designed for a more rational approach to crystallogenesis such that the method can now be applied to an even wider variety of membrane protein types. In this Current Topics article, these assorted advances are outlined along with a summary of the membrane proteins that have yielded to the method. The prospects for and the challenges that must be overcome to further develop the method are described. PMID:22783824

  18. Brain protein deciphered at Advanced Light Source

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    This computer-generated model of a rat glutamate receptor is the first complete portrait of this important link in the nervous system. At the top of the Y-shaped protein, a pair of molecules splay outward like diverging prongs. The bottom section, which is embedded in a neuronal membrane, houses the ion channel. The resolution of this image is 3.6 angstroms per pixel, or just under four ten-billionths of a meter per image unit. http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/01/21/glutamate-receptor/

  19. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins in Lipidic Mesophases. A Host Lipid Screen

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Dianfan; Lee, Jean; Caffrey, Martin

    2011-11-30

    The default lipid for the bulk of the crystallogenesis studies performed to date using the cubic mesophase method is monoolein. There is no good reason, however, why this 18-carbon, cis-monounsaturated monoacylglycerol should be the preferred lipid for all target membrane proteins. The latter come from an array of biomembrane types with varying properties that include hydrophobic thickness, intrinsic curvature, lateral pressure profile, lipid and protein makeup, and compositional asymmetry. Thus, it seems reasonable that screening for crystallizability based on the identity of the lipid creating the hosting mesophase would be worthwhile. For this, monoacylglycerols with differing acyl chain characteristics, such as length and olefinic bond position, must be available. A lipid synthesis and purification program is in place in the author's laboratory to serve this need. In the current study with the outer membrane sugar transporter, OprB, we demonstrate the utility of host lipid screening as a means for generating diffraction-quality crystals. Host lipid screening is likely to prove a generally useful strategy for mesophase-based crystallization of membrane proteins.

  20. Protein-protein binding detection with nanoparticle photonic crystal enhanced microscopy (NP-PCEM).

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Yue; Tian, Limei; Chen, Weili; Yu, Hojeong; Singamaneni, Srikanth; Cunningham, Brian T

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate a novel microscopy-based biosensing approach that utilizes a photonic crystal (PC) surface to detect protein-protein binding with the functionalized nanoparticles as tags. This imaging approach utilizes the measurement of localized shifts in the resonant wavelength and resonant reflection magnitude from the PC biosensor in the presence of individual nanoparticles. Moreover, it substantially increases the sensitivity of the imaging approach through tunable localized surface plasmon resonant frequency of the nanoparticle matching with the resonance of the PC biosensor. Experimental demonstrations of photonic crystal enhanced microscopy (PCEM) imaging with single nanoparticle resolution are supported by Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) computer simulations. The ability to detect the surface adsorption of individual nanoparticles as tags offers a route to single molecule biosensing with photonic crystal biosensor in the future. PMID:25570391

  1. Determination of protein and solvent volumes in protein crystals from contrast variation data

    SciTech Connect

    Badger, J.

    1994-12-31

    By varying the relative values of protein and solvent scattering densities in a crystal, it is possible to obtain information on the shape and dimensions of protein molecular envelopes. Neutron diffraction methods are ideally suited to these contrast variation experiments because H/D exchange leads to large differential changes in the protein and solvent scattering densities and is structurally non-perturbing. Low resolution structure factors have been measured from cubic insulin crystals with differing H/D contents. Structure factors calculated from a simple binary density model, in which uniform scattering densities represent the protein and solvent volumes in the crystals, were compared with these data. The contrast variation differences in the sets of measured structure factors were found to be accurately fitted by this simple model. Trial applications to two problems in crystal structure determination illustrate how this fact may be exploited. (1) A translation function that employs contrast variation data gave a sharp minimum within 1-9{Angstrom} of the correctly positioned insulin molecule and is relatively insensitive to errors in the atomic model. (2) An ab initio phasing method for the contrast variation data, based on analyzing histograms of the density distributions in trial maps, was found to recover the correct molecular envelope.

  2. Nucleation and convection effects in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The following activities are reported on: repartitioning of NaCl and protein impurities in lysozyme crystallization; dependence of lysozyme growth kinetics on step sources and impurities; facet morphology response to nonuniformities in nutrient and impurity supply; interactions in undersaturated and supersaturated lysozyme solutions; heterogeneity determination and purification of commercial hen egg white lysozyme; nonlinear response of layer growth dynamics in the mixed kinetics-bulk transport regime; development of a simultaneous multiangle light scattering technique; and x-ray topography of tetragonal lysozyme grown by the temperature-control technique.

  3. Advances in protein complex analysis using mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gingras, Anne-Claude; Aebersold, Ruedi; Raught, Brian

    2005-02-15

    Proteins often function as components of larger complexes to perform a specific function, and formation of these complexes may be regulated. For example, intracellular signalling events often require transient and/or regulated protein-protein interactions for propagation, and protein binding to a specific DNA sequence, RNA molecule or metabolite is often regulated to modulate a particular cellular function. Thus, characterizing protein complexes can offer important insights into protein function. This review describes recent important advances in mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques for the analysis of protein complexes. Following brief descriptions of how proteins are identified using MS, and general protein complex purification approaches, we address two of the most important issues in these types of studies: specificity and background protein contaminants. Two basic strategies for increasing specificity and decreasing background are presented: whereas (1) tandem affinity purification (TAP) of tagged proteins of interest can dramatically improve the signal-to-noise ratio via the generation of cleaner samples, (2) stable isotopic labelling of proteins may be used to discriminate between contaminants and bona fide binding partners using quantitative MS techniques. Examples, as well as advantages and disadvantages of each approach, are presented. PMID:15611014

  4. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of Ebola VP35 interferon inhibitory domain mutant proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Leung, Daisy W.; Borek, Dominika; Farahbakhsh, Mina; Ramanan, Parameshwaran; Nix, Jay C.; Wang, Tianjiao; Prins, Kathleen C.; Otwinowski, Zbyszek; Honzatko, Richard B.; Helgeson, Luke A.; Basler, Christopher F.; Amarasinghe, Gaya K.

    2010-06-21

    VP35 is one of seven structural proteins encoded by the Ebola viral genome and mediates viral replication, nucleocapsid formation and host immune suppression. The C-terminal interferon inhibitory domain (IID) of VP35 is critical for dsRNA binding and interferon inhibition. The wild-type VP35 IID structure revealed several conserved residues that are important for dsRNA binding and interferon antagonism. Here, the expression, purification and crystallization of recombinant Zaire Ebola VP35 IID mutants R312A, K319A/R322A and K339A in space groups P6{sub 1}22, P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1} and P2{sub 1}, respectively, are described. Diffraction data were collected using synchrotron sources at the Advanced Light Source and the Advanced Photon Source.

  5. Byonic: Advanced Peptide and Protein Identification Software

    PubMed Central

    Bern, Marshall; Kil, Yong J.; Becker, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Byonic™ is the name of a software package for peptide and protein identification by tandem mass spectrometry. This software, which has only recently become commercially available, facilitates a much wider range of search possibilities than previous search software such as SEQUEST and Mascot. Byonic allows the user to define an essentially unlimited number of variable modification types. Byonic also allows the user to set a separate limit on the number of occurrences of each modification type, so that a search may consider only one or two chance modifications such as oxidations and deamidations per peptide, yet allow three or four biological modifications such as phosphorylations, which tend to cluster together. Hence Byonic can search for 10s or even 100s of modification types simultaneously without a prohibitively large combinatorial explosion. Byonic’s Wildcard Search™ allows the user to search for unanticipated or even unknown modifications alongside known modifications. Finally, Byonic’s Glycopeptide Search allows the user to identify glycopeptides without prior knowledge of glycan masses or glycosylation sites. PMID:23255153

  6. [Advances in fish antifreeze protein research].

    PubMed

    Zhong, Qi-Wang; Fan, Ting-Jun

    2002-03-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) can highly effectively protect cells and embryos from damages in freezing process by lowering the freezing points of their cytoplasmic matrix and body fluids in a noncolligative manner. Based on their origins and properties, AFPs have been classified into four types, i.e. type I, II, III and IV. Each of them possesses rather distinct characteristics both in structure and composition, although all of them have ability of lowering freezing points of fluids. AFPs' genes have been characterized as members of a multigene family and the levels of their mRNA synthesis vary significantly with seasons. Adsorption-inhibition operating at the ice surface is nowadays a hypothesis widely used to interpret the molecular mechanisms of noncolligative lowering of the freezing point, but the details of the mechanism on how the different types of AFP are adsorbed onto ice remain uncertain. Progresses in research on structures, amino acid compositions, genes, antifreeze mechanisms of the 4 distinct types of AFPs, and the application of the AFPs in cryopreservation of cells and embryos are reviewed here. PMID:12007008

  7. Advancing the Development of Glycated Protein Biosensing Technology

    PubMed Central

    Kameya, Miho; Sakaguchi-Mikami, Akane; Ferri, Stefano; Tsugawa, Wakako; Sode, Koji

    2015-01-01

    Research advances in biochemical molecules have led to the development of convenient and reproducible biosensing molecules for glycated proteins, such as those based on the enzymes fructosyl amino acid oxidase (FAOX) or fructosyl peptide oxidase (FPOX). Recently, more attractive biosensing molecules with potential applications in next-generation biosensing of glycated proteins have been aggressively reported. We review 2 such molecules, fructosamine 6-kinase (FN6K) and fructosyl amino acid-binding protein, as well as their recent applications in the development of glycated protein biosensing systems. Research on FN6K and fructosyl amino acid-binding protein has been opening up new possibilities for the development of highly sensitive and proteolytic-digestion-free biosensing systems for glycated proteins. PMID:25627465

  8. Analysis of zinc binding sites in protein crystal structures.

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, I. L.; Nadassy, K.; Wodak, S. J.

    1998-01-01

    The geometrical properties of zinc binding sites in a dataset of high quality protein crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank have been examined to identify important differences between zinc sites that are directly involved in catalysis and those that play a structural role. Coordination angles in the zinc primary coordination sphere are compared with ideal values for each coordination geometry, and zinc coordination distances are compared with those in small zinc complexes from the Cambridge Structural Database as a guide of expected trends. We find that distances and angles in the primary coordination sphere are in general close to the expected (or ideal) values. Deviations occur primarily for oxygen coordinating atoms and are found to be mainly due to H-bonding of the oxygen coordinating ligand to protein residues, bidentate binding arrangements, and multi-zinc sites. We find that H-bonding of oxygen containing residues (or water) to zinc bound histidines is almost universal in our dataset and defines the elec-His-Zn motif. Analysis of the stereochemistry shows that carboxyl elec-His-Zn motifs are geometrically rigid, while water elec-His-Zn motifs show the most geometrical variation. As catalytic motifs have a higher proportion of carboxyl elec atoms than structural motifs, they provide a more rigid framework for zinc binding. This is understood biologically, as a small distortion in the zinc position in an enzyme can have serious consequences on the enzymatic reaction. We also analyze the sequence pattern of the zinc ligands and residues that provide elecs, and identify conserved hydrophobic residues in the endopeptidases that also appear to contribute to stabilizing the catalytic zinc site. A zinc binding template in protein crystal structures is derived from these observations. PMID:10082367

  9. Advanced piezoelectric single crystal based transducers for naval sonar applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snook, Kevin A.; Rehrig, Paul W.; Hackenberger, Wesley S.; Jiang, Xiaoning; Meyer, Richard J., Jr.; Markley, Douglas

    2006-03-01

    Transducers incorporating single crystal piezoelectric Pb(Mg 1/3Nb 2/3) x-1Ti xO 3 (PMN-PT) exhibit significant advantages over ceramic piezoelectrics such as PZT, including both high electromechanical coupling (k 33 > 90%) and piezoelectric coefficients (d 33 > 2000 pC/N). Conventional <001> orientation gives inherently larger bandwidth and output power than PZT ceramics, however, the anisotropy of the crystal also allows for tailoring of the performance by orienting the crystal along different crystallographic axes. This attribute combined with composition refinements can be used to improve thermal or mechanical stability, which is important in high power, high duty cycle sonar applications. By utilizing the "31" resonance mode, the high power performance of PMN-PT can be improved over traditional "33" mode single crystal transducers, due to an improved aspect ratio. Utilizing novel geometries, effective piezoelectric constants of -600 pC/N to -1200 pC/N have been measured. The phase transition point induced by temperature, pre-stress or field is close to that in the "33" mode, and since the prestress is applied perpendicular to the poling direction in "31" mode elements, they exhibit lower loss and can therefore be driven harder. The high power characteristics of tonpilz transducers can also be affected by the composition of the PMN-PT crystal. TRS modified the composition of PMN-PT to improve the thermal stability of the material, while keeping the loss as low as possible. Three dimensional modeling shows that the useable bandwidth of these novel compositions nearly equals that of conventional PMN-PT. A decrease in the source level of up to 6 dB was calculated, which can be compensated for by the higher drive voltages possible.

  10. Crystal Structure of the Japanese Encephalitis Virus Envelope Protein

    SciTech Connect

    Luca, Vincent C.; AbiMansour, Jad; Nelson, Christopher A.; Fremont, Daved H.

    2012-03-13

    Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the leading global cause of viral encephalitis. The JEV envelope protein (E) facilitates cellular attachment and membrane fusion and is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. We have determined the 2.1-{angstrom} resolution crystal structure of the JEV E ectodomain refolded from bacterial inclusion bodies. The E protein possesses the three domains characteristic of flavivirus envelopes and epitope mapping of neutralizing antibodies onto the structure reveals determinants that correspond to the domain I lateral ridge, fusion loop, domain III lateral ridge, and domain I-II hinge. While monomeric in solution, JEV E assembles as an antiparallel dimer in the crystal lattice organized in a highly similar fashion as seen in cryo-electron microscopy models of mature flavivirus virions. The dimer interface, however, is remarkably small and lacks many of the domain II contacts observed in other flavivirus E homodimers. In addition, uniquely conserved histidines within the JEV serocomplex suggest that pH-mediated structural transitions may be aided by lateral interactions outside the dimer interface in the icosahedral virion. Our results suggest that variation in dimer structure and stability may significantly influence the assembly, receptor interaction, and uncoating of virions.

  11. A Proposed Model for Protein Crystal Nucleation and Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    How does one take a molecule, strongly asymmetric in both shape and charge distribution, and assemble it into a crystal? We propose a model for the nucleation and crystal growth process for tetragonal lysozyme, based upon fluorescence, light, neutron, and X-ray scattering data, size exclusion chromatography experiments, dialysis kinetics, AFM, and modeling of growth rate data, from this and other laboratories. The first species formed is postulated to be a 'head to side' dimer. Through repeating associations involving the same intermolecular interactions this grows to a 4(sub 3) helix structure, that in turn serves as the basic unit for nucleation and subsequent crystal growth. High salt attenuates surface charges while promoting hydrophobic interactions. Symmetry facilitates subsequent helix-helix self-association. Assembly stability is enhanced when a four helix structure is obtained, with each bound to two neighbors. Only two unique interactions are required. The first are those for helix formation, where the dominant interaction is the intermolecular bridging anion. The second is the anti-parallel side-by-side helix-helix interaction, guided by alternating pairs of symmetry related salt bridges along each side. At this stage all eight unique positions of the P4(sub3)2(sub 1),2(sub 1) unit cell are filled. The process is one of a) attenuating the most strongly interacting groups, such that b) the molecules begin to self-associate in defined patterns, so that c) symmetry is obtained, which d) propagates as a growing crystal. Simple and conceptually obvious in hindsight, this tells much about what we are empirically doing when we crystallize macromolecules. By adjusting the growth parameters we are empirically balancing the intermolecular interactions, preferentially attenuating the dominant strong (for lysozyme the charged groups) while strengthening the lesser strong (hydrophobic) interactions. In the general case for proteins the lack of a singularly defined

  12. Crysalis: an integrated server for computational analysis and design of protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Huilin; Feng, Liubin; Zhang, Ziding; Webb, Geoffrey I.; Lin, Donghai; Song, Jiangning

    2016-01-01

    The failure of multi-step experimental procedures to yield diffraction-quality crystals is a major bottleneck in protein structure determination. Accordingly, several bioinformatics methods have been successfully developed and employed to select crystallizable proteins. Unfortunately, the majority of existing in silico methods only allow the prediction of crystallization propensity, seldom enabling computational design of protein mutants that can be targeted for enhancing protein crystallizability. Here, we present Crysalis, an integrated crystallization analysis tool that builds on support-vector regression (SVR) models to facilitate computational protein crystallization prediction, analysis, and design. More specifically, the functionality of this new tool includes: (1) rapid selection of target crystallizable proteins at the proteome level, (2) identification of site non-optimality for protein crystallization and systematic analysis of all potential single-point mutations that might enhance protein crystallization propensity, and (3) annotation of target protein based on predicted structural properties. We applied the design mode of Crysalis to identify site non-optimality for protein crystallization on a proteome-scale, focusing on proteins currently classified as non-crystallizable. Our results revealed that site non-optimality is based on biases related to residues, predicted structures, physicochemical properties, and sequence loci, which provides in-depth understanding of the features influencing protein crystallization. Crysalis is freely available at http://nmrcen.xmu.edu.cn/crysalis/. PMID:26906024

  13. Some practical guidelines for UV imaging in the protein crystallization laboratory

    PubMed Central

    Desbois, Sebastien; Seabrook, Shane A.; Newman, Janet

    2013-01-01

    High-throughput imaging of protein crystallization experiments with ultraviolet (UV) light has recently become commercially available and can enable crystallographers to differentiate between crystals of protein and those of salt, as the visualization of protein crystals is based on intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence. Unfortunately, UV imaging is not a panacea, as some protein crystals will not fluoresce under UV excitation and some salt crystals are UV-fluorescently active. As a new technology, there is little experience within the general community on how to use this technology effectively and what caveats to look out for. Here, an attempt is made to identify some of the common problems that may arise using UV-imaging technology by examining test proteins, common crystallization reagents and a range of proteins by assessing their UV–Vis absorbance spectra. Some pointers are offered as to which systems may not be appropriate for this methodology. PMID:23385768

  14. Some practical guidelines for UV imaging in the protein crystallization laboratory.

    PubMed

    Desbois, Sebastien; Seabrook, Shane A; Newman, Janet

    2013-02-01

    High-throughput imaging of protein crystallization experiments with ultraviolet (UV) light has recently become commercially available and can enable crystallographers to differentiate between crystals of protein and those of salt, as the visualization of protein crystals is based on intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence. Unfortunately, UV imaging is not a panacea, as some protein crystals will not fluoresce under UV excitation and some salt crystals are UV-fluorescently active. As a new technology, there is little experience within the general community on how to use this technology effectively and what caveats to look out for. Here, an attempt is made to identify some of the common problems that may arise using UV-imaging technology by examining test proteins, common crystallization reagents and a range of proteins by assessing their UV-Vis absorbance spectra. Some pointers are offered as to which systems may not be appropriate for this methodology. PMID:23385768

  15. Microphase Separation Controlled beta-Sheet Crystallization Kinetics in Fibrous Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, X.; Lu, Q; Kaplan, D; Cebe, P

    2009-01-01

    Silk is a naturally occurring fibrous protein with a multiblock chain architecture. As such, it has many similarities with synthetic block copolymers, including the possibility for e-sheet crystallization restricted within the crystallizable blocks. The mechanism of isothermal crystallization kinetics of e-sheet crystals in silk multiblock fibrous proteins is reported in this study. Kinetics theories, such as Avrami analysis which was established for studies of synthetic polymer crystal growth, are for the first time extended to investigate protein self-assembly in e-sheet rich Bombyx mori silk fibroin samples, using time-resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and synchrotron real-time wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The Avrami exponent, n, was close to 2 for all methods and crystallization temperatures, indicating formation of e-sheet crystals in silk proteins is different from the 3-D spherulitic crystal growth found in synthetic polymers. Observations by scanning electron microscopy support the view that the protein structures vary during the different stages of crystal growth, and show a microphase separation pattern after chymotrypsin enzyme biodegradation. We present a model to explain the crystallization of the multiblock silk fibroin protein, by analogy to block copolymers: crystallization of e-sheets occurs under conditions of geometrical restriction caused by phase separation of the crystallizable and uncrystallizable blocks. This crystallization model could be widely applicable in other proteins with multiblock (i.e., crystallizable and noncrystallizable) domains.

  16. Equilibrium Kinetics Studies and Crystallization Aboard the International Space Station (ISS) Using the Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity (PCAM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Achari, Aniruddha; Roeber, Dana F.; Barnes, Cindy L.; Kundrot, Craig E.; Stinson, Thomas N. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Protein Crystallization Apparatus in Microgravity (PCAM) trays have been used in Shuttle missions to crystallize proteins in a microgravity environment. The crystallization experiments are 'sitting drops' similar to that in Cryschem trays, but the reservoir solution is soaked in a wick. From early 2001, crystallization experiments are conducted on the International Space Station using mission durations of months rather than two weeks on previous shuttle missions. Experiments were set up in April 2001 on Flight 6A to characterize the time crystallization experiments will take to reach equilibrium in a microgravity environment using salts, polyethylene glycols and an organic solvent as precipitants. The experiments were set up to gather data for a series of days of activation with different droplet volumes and precipitants. The experimental set up on ISS and results of this study will be presented. These results will help future users of PCAM to choose precipitants to optimize crystallization conditions for their target macromolecules for a particular mission with known mission duration. Changes in crystal morphology and size between the ground and space grown crystals of a protein and a protein -DNA complex flown on the same mission will also be presented.

  17. Advanced discretizations and multigrid methods for liquid crystal configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emerson, David B.

    Liquid crystals are substances that possess mesophases with properties intermediate between liquids and crystals. Here, we consider nematic liquid crystals, which consist of rod-like molecules whose average pointwise orientation is represented by a unit-length vector, n( x, y, z) = (n1, n 2, n3)T. In addition to their self-structuring properties, nematics are dielectrically active and birefringent. These traits continue to lead to many important applications and discoveries. Numerical simulations of liquid crystal configurations are used to suggest the presence of new physical phenomena, analyze experiments, and optimize devices. This thesis develops a constrained energy-minimization finite-element method for the efficient computation of nematic liquid crystal equilibrium configurations based on a Lagrange multiplier formulation and the Frank-Oseen free-elastic energy model. First-order optimality conditions are derived and linearized via a Newton approach, yielding a linear system of equations. Due to the nonlinear unit-length constraint, novel well-posedness theory for the variational systems, as well as error analysis, is conducted. The approach is shown to constitute a convergent and well-posed approach, absent typical simplifying assumptions. Moreover, the energy-minimization method and well-posedness theory developed for the free-elastic case are extended to include the effects of applied electric fields and flexoelectricity. In the computational algorithm, nested iteration is applied and proves highly effective at reducing computational costs. Additionally, an alternative technique is studied, where the unit-length constraint is imposed by a penalty method. The performance of the penalty and Lagrange multiplier methods is compared. Furthermore, tailored trust-region strategies are introduced to improve robustness and efficiency. While both approaches yield effective algorithms, the Lagrange multiplier method demonstrates superior accuracy per unit cost. In

  18. The Feasibility of Bulk Crystallization as an Industrial Purification and Production Technique for Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Judge, Russell A.; Forsythe, Elizabeth L.; Johns, Michael R.; Pusey, Marc L.; White, Edward T.

    1998-01-01

    Bulk crystallization in stirred vessels is used industrially for the recovery and purification of many inorganic and organic materials. Although much has been written on the crystallization of proteins for X-ray diffraction analysis, very little has been reported on the application of bulk crystallization in stirred vessels. In this study, a 1-liter, seeded, stirred, batch crystallizer was used with ovalbumin as a model protein to test the feasibility of this crystallization method as a recovery and purification process for proteins. Results were obtained for ovalbumin solubility, nucleation thresholds, crystal breakage and crystal growth kinetics in bulk solution under a range of operating conditions of pH and ammonium sulphate concentration (Judge et al., 1996). Experiments were also performed to determine the degree of purification that can be achieved by the crystallization of ovalbumin from a mixture of proteins. The effect of the presence of these proteins upon the ovalbumin crystal growth kinetics was also investigated (Judge et al., 1995). All of these aspects are essential for the design of bulk crystallization processes which have not previously been reported for proteins. Results from a second study that investigated the effect of structurally different proteins on the solubility, crystal growth rates and crystal purity of chicken egg white lysozyme are also presented (Judge et al., 1997). In this case face growth rates were measured using lysozyme purified by liquid chromatography and the effect of the addition of specific protein impurities were observed on the (110) and (101) crystal faces. In these two studies the results are presented to show the feasibility and purifying ability of crystallization as a production process for proteins.

  19. High-throughput method for optimum solubility screening for homogeneity and crystallization of proteins

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Sung-Hou; Kim, Rosalind; Jancarik, Jamila

    2012-01-31

    An optimum solubility screen in which a panel of buffers and many additives are provided in order to obtain the most homogeneous and monodisperse protein condition for protein crystallization. The present methods are useful for proteins that aggregate and cannot be concentrated prior to setting up crystallization screens. A high-throughput method using the hanging-drop method and vapor diffusion equilibrium and a panel of twenty-four buffers is further provided. Using the present methods, 14 poorly behaving proteins have been screened, resulting in 11 of the proteins having highly improved dynamic light scattering results allowing concentration of the proteins, and 9 were crystallized.

  20. The use of heterogeneous and epitaxial nucleants to promote the growth of protein crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcpherson, Alexander; Shlichta, P.

    1988-01-01

    Fifty different mineral samples were tested as potential heterogeneous or epitaxial nucleants for four commonly crystallized proteins. It was found, using conventional protein crystallization techniques, that for each protein there was a set of mineral substrates that promoted nucleation of crystals at lower critical levels of supersaturation than required for spontaneous growth. In at least one case, the growth of lysozyme on the mineral apophyllite, it was shown by lattice analysis and X-ray diffraction that the nucleation and growth of the protein crystal on the mineral was likely to be truly epitaxial.

  1. Protein structure. Crystal structures of translocator protein (TSPO) and mutant mimic of a human polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Li, Fei; Liu, Jian; Zheng, Yi; Garavito, R Michael; Ferguson-Miller, Shelagh

    2015-01-30

    The 18-kilodalton translocator protein (TSPO), proposed to be a key player in cholesterol transport into mitochondria, is highly expressed in steroidogenic tissues, metastatic cancer, and inflammatory and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. TSPO ligands, including benzodiazepine drugs, are implicated in regulating apoptosis and are extensively used in diagnostic imaging. We report crystal structures (at 1.8, 2.4, and 2.5 angstrom resolution) of TSPO from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and a mutant that mimics the human Ala(147)→Thr(147) polymorphism associated with psychiatric disorders and reduced pregnenolone production. Crystals obtained in the lipidic cubic phase reveal the binding site of an endogenous porphyrin ligand and conformational effects of the mutation. The three crystal structures show the same tightly interacting dimer and provide insights into the controversial physiological role of TSPO and how the mutation affects cholesterol binding. PMID:25635101

  2. Advances in Polymer and Polymeric Nanostructures for Protein Conjugation

    PubMed Central

    González-Toro, Daniella C.; Thayumanavan, S.

    2013-01-01

    Linear polymers have been considered the best molecular structures for the formation of efficient protein conjugates due to their biological advantages, synthetic convenience and ease of functionalization. In recent years, much attention has been dedicated to develop synthetic strategies that produce the most control over protein conjugation utilizing linear polymers as scaffolds. As a result, different conjugate models, such as semitelechelic, homotelechelic, heterotelechelic and branched or star polymer conjugates, have been obtained that take advantage of these well-controlled synthetic strategies. Development of protein conjugates using nanostructures and the formation of said nanostructures from protein-polymer bioconjugates are other areas in the protein bioconjugation field. Although several polymer-protein technologies have been developed from these discoveries, few review articles have focused on the design and function of these polymers and nanostructures. This review will highlight some recent advances in protein-linear polymer technologies that employ protein covalent conjugation and successful protein-nanostructure bioconjugates (covalent conjugation as well) that have shown great potential for biological applications. PMID:24058205

  3. Advanced piezoelectric single crystal based transducers for naval sonar applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snook, Kevin A.; Rehrig, Paul W.; Hackenberger, Wesley S.; Jiang, Xiaoning; Meyer, Richard J., Jr.; Markley, Douglas

    2005-05-01

    TRS is developing new transducers based on single crystal piezoelectric materials such as Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)x-1TixO3 (PMN-PT). Single crystal piezoelectrics such as PMN-PT exhibit very high piezoelectric coefficients (d33 ~ 1800 to >2000 pC/N) and electromechanical coupling factors (k33 > 0.9), respectively, which may be exploited for improving the performance of broad bandwidth and high frequency sonar. Apart from basic performance, much research has been done on reducing the size and increasing the output power of tonpilz transducers for sonar applications. Results are presented from two different studies. "33" mode single crystal tonpilz transducers have reduced stack lengths due to their low elastic stiffness relative to PZTs, however, this produces non-ideal aspect ratios due to large lateral dimensions. Alternative "31" resonance mode tonpilz elements are proposed to improve performance over these "33" designs. d32 values as high as 1600 pC/N have been observed, and since prestress is applied perpendicular to the poling direction, "31" mode Tonpilz elements exhibit lower loss and higher reliability than "33" mode designs. Planar high power tonpilz arrays are the optimum way to obtain the required acoustic pressure and bandwidth for small footprint, high power sensors. An important issue for these sensors is temperature and prestress stability, since fluctuations in tonpilz properties affects power delivery and sensing electronic design. TRS used the approach of modifying the composition of PMN-PT to improve the temperature dependence of properties of the material. Results show up to a 50% decrease in temperature change while losing minimal source level.

  4. Advances in engineering of fluorescent proteins and photoactivatable proteins with red emission

    PubMed Central

    Piatkevich, Kiryl D.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2009-01-01

    Monomeric fluorescent proteins of different colors are widely used to study behavior and targeting of proteins in living cells. Fluorescent proteins that irreversibly change their spectral properties in response to light irradiation of a specific wavelength, or photoactivate, have become increasingly popular to image intracellular dynamics and super-resolution protein localization. Until recently, however, no optimized monomeric red fluorescent proteins and red photoactivatable proteins have been available. Furthermore, monomeric fluorescent proteins, which change emission from blue to red simply with time, so-called fluorescent timers, were developed to study protein age and turnover. Understanding of chemical mechanisms of the chromophore maturation or photoactivation into a red form will further advance engineering of fluorescent timers and photoactivatable proteins with enhanced and novel properties. PMID:19914857

  5. Imatinib (Gleevec@) conformations observed in single crystals, protein-Imatinib co-crystals and molecular dynamics: Implications for drug selectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golzarroshan, B.; Siddegowda, M. S.; Li, Hong qi; Yathirajan, H. S.; Narayana, B.; Rathore, R. S.

    2012-06-01

    Structure and dynamics of the Leukemia drug, Imatinib, were examined using X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics studies. Comparison of conformations observed in single crystals with several reported co-crystals of protein-drug complexes suggests existence of two conserved conformations of Imatinib, extended and compact (or folded), corresponding to two binding modes of interaction with the receptor. Furthermore, these conformations are conserved throughout a dynamics simulation. The present study attempts to draw a parallel on conformations and binding patterns of interactions, obtained from small-molecule single-crystal and macromolecule co-crystal studies, and provides structural insights for understanding the high selectivity of this drug molecule.

  6. Isolation, purification, crystallization, and preliminary X-ray diffraction study of the crystals of HU protein from M. gallisepticum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolaeva, A. Yu.; Timofeev, V. I.; Boiko, K. M.; Korzhenevskii, D. A.; Rakitina, T. V.; Dorovatovskii, P. V.; Lipkin, A. V.

    2015-11-01

    HU proteins are involved in bacterial DNA and RNA repair. Since these proteins are absent in cells of higher organisms, inhibitors of HU proteins can be used as effective and safe antibiotics. The crystallization conditions for the M. gallisepticum HU protein were found and optimized by the vapor-diffusion method. The X-ray diffraction data set was collected to 2.91 Å resolution from the crystals grown by the vapor-diffusion method on a synchrotron source. The crystals of the HU protein belong to sp. gr. P41212 and have the following unit-cell parameters: a = b = 97.94 Å, c = 77.92 Å, α = β = γ = 90°.

  7. A Photonic Crystal Protein Hydrogel Sensor for Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhongyu; Kwak, Daniel H; Punihaole, David; Hong, Zhenmin; Velankar, Sachin S; Liu, Xinyu; Asher, Sanford A

    2015-10-26

    We report two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystal (PC) sensing materials that selectively detect Candida albicans (C. albicans). These sensors utilize Concanavalin A (Con A) protein hydrogels with a 2D PC embedded on the Con A protein hydrogel surface, that multivalently and selectively bind to mannan on the C. albicans cell surface to form crosslinks. The resulting crosslinks shrink the Con A protein hydrogel, reduce the 2D PC particle spacing, and blue-shift the light diffracted from the PC. The diffraction shifts can be visually monitored, measured with a spectrometer, or determined from the Debye diffraction ring diameter. Our unoptimized hydrogel sensor has a detection limit of around 32 CFU/mL for C. albicans. This sensor distinguishes between C. albicans and those microbes devoid of cell-surface mannan such as the gram-negative bacterium E. coli. This sensor provides a proof-of-concept for utilizing recognition between lectins and microbial cell surface carbohydrates to detect microorganisms in aqueous environments. PMID:26480336

  8. Towards long-wavelength protein crystallography: keeping a protein crystal frozen in vacuum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy; Wagner, Armin

    2013-03-01

    There is growing interest to explore the long-wavelength X-ray domain for macromolecular crystallography (MX) experiments but there are a number of practical issues that make these experiments difficult to perform. In this article we study several aspects related to cooling a protein crystal in a vacuum environment. We investigated thermal contact conductance (TCC) of copper-copper joints and designed a demountable sample holder assembly with a magnetic joint that facilitates good thermal conductivity and reliability over a long time period. The thermal conductivity of amorphous ice formed by a 20% solution of ethylene glycol was studied. It is concluded that the ice thickness is the factor that can compromise the cooling of protein crystals and therefore it should be carefully controlled.

  9. Acoustic transfer of protein crystals from agarose pedestals to micromeshes for high-throughput screening

    SciTech Connect

    Cuttitta, Christina M.; Ericson, Daniel L.; Scalia, Alexander; Roessler, Christian G.; Teplitsky, Ella; Joshi, Karan; Campos, Olven; Agarwal, Rakhi; Allaire, Marc; Orville, Allen M.; Sweet, Robert M.; Soares, Alexei S.

    2015-01-01

    An acoustic high-throughput screening method is described for harvesting protein crystals and combining the protein crystals with chemicals such as a fragment library. Acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) is an emerging technology with broad applications in serial crystallography such as growing, improving and manipulating protein crystals. One application of this technology is to gently transfer crystals onto MiTeGen micromeshes with minimal solvent. Once mounted on a micromesh, each crystal can be combined with different chemicals such as crystal-improving additives or a fragment library. Acoustic crystal mounting is fast (2.33 transfers s{sup −1}) and all transfers occur in a sealed environment that is in vapor equilibrium with the mother liquor. Here, a system is presented to retain crystals near the ejection point and away from the inaccessible dead volume at the bottom of the well by placing the crystals on a concave agarose pedestal (CAP) with the same chemical composition as the crystal mother liquor. The bowl-shaped CAP is impenetrable to crystals. Consequently, gravity will gently move the crystals into the optimal location for acoustic ejection. It is demonstrated that an agarose pedestal of this type is compatible with most commercially available crystallization conditions and that protein crystals are readily transferred from the agarose pedestal onto micromeshes with no loss in diffraction quality. It is also shown that crystals can be grown directly on CAPs, which avoids the need to transfer the crystals from the hanging drop to a CAP. This technology has been used to combine thermolysin and lysozyme crystals with an assortment of anomalously scattering heavy atoms. The results point towards a fast nanolitre method for crystal mounting and high-throughput screening.

  10. A profile of protein-protein interaction: Crystal structure of a lectin-lectin complex.

    PubMed

    Surya, Sukumaran; Abhilash, Joseph; Geethanandan, Krishnan; Sadasivan, Chittalakkottu; Haridas, Madhathilkovilakathu

    2016-06-01

    Proteins may utilize complex networks of interactions to create/proceed signaling pathways of highly adaptive responses such as programmed cell death. Direct binary interactions study of proteins may help propose models for protein-protein interaction. Towards this goal we applied a combination of thermodynamic kinetics and crystal structure analyses to elucidate the complexity and diversity in such interactions. By determining the heat change on the association of two galactose-specific legume lectins from Butea monosperma (BML) and Spatholobus parviflorus (SPL) belonging to Fabaceae family helped to compute the binding equilibrium. It was extended further by X-ray structural analysis of BML-SPL binary complex. In order to chart the proteins interacting mainly through their interfaces, identification of the nature of forces which stabilized the association of the lectin-lectin complex was examined. Comprehensive analysis of the BMLSPL complex by isothermal titration calorimetry and X-ray crystal structure threw new light on the lectin-lectin interactions suggesting of their use in diverse areas of glycobiology. PMID:26945504

  11. Crystal Structure of a Lipid G Protein-Coupled Receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, Michael A; Roth, Christopher B; Jo, Euijung; Griffith, Mark T; Scott, Fiona L; Reinhart, Greg; Desale, Hans; Clemons, Bryan; Cahalan, Stuart M; Schuerer, Stephan C; Sanna, M Germana; Han, Gye Won; Kuhn, Peter; Rosen, Hugh; Stevens, Raymond C

    2012-03-01

    The lyso-phospholipid sphingosine 1-phosphate modulates lymphocyte trafficking, endothelial development and integrity, heart rate, and vascular tone and maturation by activating G protein-coupled sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors. Here, we present the crystal structure of the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 fused to T4-lysozyme (S1P1-T4L) in complex with an antagonist sphingolipid mimic. Extracellular access to the binding pocket is occluded by the amino terminus and extracellular loops of the receptor. Access is gained by ligands entering laterally between helices I and VII within the transmembrane region of the receptor. This structure, along with mutagenesis, agonist structure-activity relationship data, and modeling, provides a detailed view of the molecular recognition and requirement for hydrophobic volume that activates S1P1, resulting in the modulation of immune and stromal cell responses.

  12. Heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled biomineralizaiton proteins in calcite crystals

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chuang; Xie, Liping; Zhang, Rongqing

    2015-01-01

    Biominerals are highly ordered crystals mediated by organic matters especially proteins in organisms. However, how specific proteins are distributed inside biominerals are not well understood. In the present study, we use fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) to label extracted proteins from the shells of bivalve Pinctada fucata. By confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), we observe a heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled proteins inside synthetic calcite at the microscale. Proteins from the prismatic calcite layers accumulate at the edge of crystals while proteins from the nacreous aragonite layers accumulate at the center of crystals. Raman and X-ray powder diffraction show that both the proteins cannot alter the crystal phase. Scanning electron microscope demonstrates both proteins are able to affect the crystal morphology. This study may provide a direct approach for the visualization of protein distributions in crystals by small-molecule dye-labelled proteins as the additives in the crystallization process and improve our understanding of intracrystalline proteins distribution in biogenic calcites. PMID:26675363

  13. Automated documentation generator for advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maddux, Gary A.; Provancha, Anna; Chattam, David

    1994-01-01

    To achieve an environment less dependent on the flow of paper, automated techniques of data storage and retrieval must be utilized. This software system, 'Automated Payload Experiment Tool,' seeks to provide a knowledge-based, hypertext environment for the development of NASA documentation. Once developed, the final system should be able to guide a Principal Investigator through the documentation process in a more timely and efficient manner, while supplying more accurate information to the NASA payload developer. The current system is designed for the development of the Science Requirements Document (SRD), the Experiment Requirements Document (ERD), the Project Plan, and the Safety Requirements Document.

  14. Automated documentation generator for advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maddux, Gary A.; Provancha, Anna; Chattam, David; Ford, Ronald

    1993-01-01

    The System Management and Production Laboratory at the Research Institute, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), was tasked by the Microgravity Experiment Projects (MEP) Office of the Payload Projects Office (PPO) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to conduct research in the current methods of written documentation control and retrieval. The goals of this research were to determine the logical interrelationships within selected NASA documentation, and to expand on a previously developed prototype system to deliver a distributable, electronic knowledge-based system. This computer application would then be used to provide a paperless interface between the appropriate parties for the required NASA document.

  15. Ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography imaging of protein crystals using gel inclusion technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishizawa, N.; Ishida, S.; Hirose, M.; Sugiyama, S.; Inoue, T.; Mori, Y.; Itoh, K.; Matsumura, H.

    2013-03-01

    Protein crystals are required for X-ray crystallography to determine three-dimensional structures of proteins at atomic resolution. The conventional microscopy is currently used for observation and screening of protein crystals. However, the three-dimensional imaging, which is important for automated treatment of protein crystals, is generally difficult by light microscopy. In addition, the protein crystals in the media are frequently difficult to identify by conventional light microscopy owing to the appearance of salt crystals or amorphous materials. In this work, we successfully demonstrated micro-scale, non-invasive, three-dimensional cross-sectional imaging of protein crystals using ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR-OCT). A low noise, Gaussian like, high power supercontinuum at wavelength of 800 nm was used as the light source. The axial resolution of 2 um in sample and the sensitivity of 95 dB were achieved. Since the protein crystal has homogeneous nano-structure, the optical scattering is negligibly small. Therefore, we used gel-inclusion technique to enhance the intensity of scattered signals, and clear, sharp 3D cross-sectional images of protein crystals were successfully observed. As the gel concentration was increased, the OCT signal intensity was increased. Using this method, the protein crystals surrounded by substantial amount of precipitates could be visualized, which is difficult by conventional light microscopy. The discrimination of protein and salt crystals was also demonstrated by the OCT signal intensity. The wavelength dependence of OCT imaging for protein crystal was examined at wavelength of 800-1700 nm regions. It was confirmed that the finest images were observed using 800 nm wavelength system.

  16. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  17. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  18. The analysis of protein pharmaceuticals: near future advances.

    PubMed

    Middaugh, C R

    1994-01-01

    The analysis of protein pharmaceuticals currently involves a complex series of chromatographic, electrophoretic, spectroscopic, immunological and biological measurements to unequivocally establish their identity, purity and integrity. In this review, I briefly consider the possibility that at least the functional identity and integrity of a protein drug might be established by either a single analysis involving X-ray diffraction, NMR or mass spectrometry, or by a chromatographically based multi-detector system in which a number of critical parameters are essentially simultaneously determined. The use of a protein standard to obtain comparative measurements and new advances in the technology of each of these methods is emphasized. A current major obstacle to the implementation of these approaches is the frequent microheterogeneity of protein preparations. The evolution of biological assays into measurements examining more defined intracellular signal transduction events or based on novel biosensors as well as the analysis of vaccines is also briefly discussed. PMID:7765931

  19. Use of dye to distinguish salt and protein crystals under microcrystallization conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cosenza, Larry (Inventor); Bray, Terry L. (Inventor); DeLucas, Lawrence J. (Inventor); Gester, Thomas E. (Inventor); Hamrick, David T. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

    An improved method of screening crystal growth conditions is provided wherein molecules are crystallized from solutions containing dyes. These dyes are selectively incorporated or associated with crystals of particular character thereby rendering crystals of particular character colored and improving detection of the dyed crystals. A preferred method involves use of dyes in protein solutions overlayed by oil. Use of oil allows the use of small volumes of solution and facilitates the screening of large numbers of crystallization conditions in arrays using automated devices that dispense appropriate solutions to generate crystallization trials, overlay crystallization trials with an oil, provide appropriate conditions conducive to crystallization and enhance detection of dyed (colored) or undyed (uncolored) crystals that result.

  20. Direct observation of protein microcrystals in crystallization buffer by atmospheric scanning electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Yuusuke; Ebihara, Tatsuhiko; Nishiyama, Hidetoshi; Konyuba, Yuji; Senda, Miki; Numaga-Tomita, Takuro; Senda, Toshiya; Suga, Mitsuo; Sato, Chikara

    2012-01-01

    X-ray crystallography requires high quality crystals above a given size. This requirement not only limits the proteins to be analyzed, but also reduces the speed of the structure determination. Indeed, the tertiary structures of many physiologically important proteins remain elusive because of the so-called "crystallization bottleneck". Once microcrystals have been obtained, crystallization conditions can be optimized to produce bigger and better crystals. However, the identification of microcrystals can be difficult due to the resolution limit of optical microscopy. Electron microscopy has sometimes been utilized instead, with the disadvantage that the microcrystals usually must be observed in vacuum, which precludes the usage for crystal screening. The atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) allows samples to be observed in solution. Here, we report the use of this instrument in combination with a special thin-membrane dish with a crystallization well. It was possible to observe protein crystals of lysozyme, lipase B and a histone chaperone TAF-Iβ in crystallization buffers, without the use of staining procedures. The smallest crystals observed with ASEM were a few μm in width, and ASEM can be used with non-transparent solutions. Furthermore, the growth of salt crystals could be monitored in the ASEM, and the difference in contrast between salt and protein crystals made it easy to distinguish between these two types of microcrystals. These results indicate that the ASEM could be an important new tool for the screening of protein microcrystals. PMID:22949879

  1. A novel microseeding method for the crystallization of membrane proteins in lipidic cubic phase.

    PubMed

    Kolek, Stefan Andrew; Bräuning, Bastian; Shaw Stewart, Patrick Douglas

    2016-04-01

    Random microseed matrix screening (rMMS), in which seed crystals are added to random crystallization screens, is an important breakthrough in soluble protein crystallization that increases the number of crystallization hits that are available for optimization. This greatly increases the number of soluble protein structures generated every year by typical structural biology laboratories. Inspired by this success, rMMS has been adapted to the crystallization of membrane proteins, making LCP seed stock by scaling up LCP crystallization conditions without changing the physical and chemical parameters that are critical for crystallization. Seed crystals are grown directly in LCP and, as with conventional rMMS, a seeding experiment is combined with an additive experiment. The new method was used with the bacterial integral membrane protein OmpF, and it was found that it increased the number of crystallization hits by almost an order of magnitude: without microseeding one new hit was found, whereas with LCP-rMMS eight new hits were found. It is anticipated that this new method will lead to better diffracting crystals of membrane proteins. A method of generating seed gradients, which allows the LCP seed stock to be diluted and the number of crystals in each LCP bolus to be reduced, if required for optimization, is also demonstrated. PMID:27050265

  2. Phase Sensitive X-Ray Diffraction Imaging Study of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.

    2003-01-01

    The study of defects and growth of protein crystals is of importance in providing a fundamental understanding of this important category of systems and the rationale for crystallization of better ordered crystals for structural determination and drug design. Yet, as a result of the extremely weak scattering power of x-rays in protein and other biological macromolecular crystals, the extinction lengths for those crystals are extremely large and, roughly speaking, of the order of millimeters on average compared to the scale of micrometers for most small molecular crystals. This has significant implication for x-ray diffraction and imaging study of protein crystals, and presents an interesting challenge to currently available x-ray analytical techniques. We proposed that coherence-based phase sensitive x-ray diffraction imaging could provide a way to augment defect contrast in x-ray diffraction images of weakly diffracting biological macromolecular crystals. I shall examine the principles and ideas behind this approach and compare it to other available x-ray topography and diffraction methods. I shall then present some recent experimental results in two model protein systems-cubic apofemtin and tetragonal lysozyme crystals to demonstrate the capability of the coherence-based imaging method in mapping point defects, dislocations, and the degree of perfection of biological macromolecular crystals with extreme sensitivity. While further work is under way, it is intended to show that the observed new features have yielded important information on protein crystal perfection and nucleation and growth mechanism otherwise unobtainable.

  3. Direct Observation of Protein Microcrystals in Crystallization Buffer by Atmospheric Scanning Electron Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Maruyama, Yuusuke; Ebihara, Tatsuhiko; Nishiyama, Hidetoshi; Konyuba, Yuji; Senda, Miki; Numaga-Tomita, Takuro; Senda, Toshiya; Suga, Mitsuo; Sato, Chikara

    2012-01-01

    X-ray crystallography requires high quality crystals above a given size. This requirement not only limits the proteins to be analyzed, but also reduces the speed of the structure determination. Indeed, the tertiary structures of many physiologically important proteins remain elusive because of the so-called “crystallization bottleneck”. Once microcrystals have been obtained, crystallization conditions can be optimized to produce bigger and better crystals. However, the identification of microcrystals can be difficult due to the resolution limit of optical microscopy. Electron microscopy has sometimes been utilized instead, with the disadvantage that the microcrystals usually must be observed in vacuum, which precludes the usage for crystal screening. The atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) allows samples to be observed in solution. Here, we report the use of this instrument in combination with a special thin-membrane dish with a crystallization well. It was possible to observe protein crystals of lysozyme, lipase B and a histone chaperone TAF-Iβ in crystallization buffers, without the use of staining procedures. The smallest crystals observed with ASEM were a few μm in width, and ASEM can be used with non-transparent solutions. Furthermore, the growth of salt crystals could be monitored in the ASEM, and the difference in contrast between salt and protein crystals made it easy to distinguish between these two types of microcrystals. These results indicate that the ASEM could be an important new tool for the screening of protein microcrystals. PMID:22949879

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Isolation of a crystal matrix protein associated with calcium oxalate precipitation in vacuoles of specialized cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Xingxiang; Zhang, Dianzhong; Lynch-Holm, Valerie J; Okita, Thomas W; Franceschi, Vincent R

    2003-10-01

    The formation of calcium (Ca) oxalate crystals is considered to be a high-capacity mechanism for regulating Ca in many plants. Ca oxalate precipitation is not a stochastic process, suggesting the involvement of specific biochemical and cellular mechanisms. Microautoradiography of water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) tissue exposed to 3H-glutamate showed incorporation into developing crystals, indicating potential acidic proteins associated with the crystals. Dissolution of crystals leaves behind a crystal-shaped matrix "ghost" that is capable of precipitation of Ca oxalate in the original crystal morphology. To assess whether this matrix has a protein component, purified crystals were isolated and analyzed for internal protein. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the presence of one major polypeptide of about 55 kD and two minor species of 60 and 63 kD. Amino acid analysis indicates the matrix protein is relatively high in acidic amino acids, a feature consistent with its solubility in formic acid but not at neutral pH. 45Ca-binding assays demonstrated the matrix protein has a strong affinity for Ca. Immunocytochemical localization using antibody raised to the isolated protein showed that the matrix protein is specific to crystal-forming cells. Within the vacuole, the surface and internal structures of two morphologically distinct Ca oxalate crystals, raphide and druse, were labeled by the antimatrix protein serum, as were the surfaces of isolated crystals. These results demonstrate that a specific Ca-binding protein exists as an integral component of Ca oxalate crystals, which holds important implications with respect to regulation of crystal formation. PMID:14555781

  7. Protein crystallization in a 100 nl solution with new stirring equipment.

    PubMed

    Maki, S; Murai, R; Yoshikawa, H Y; Kitatani, T; Nakata, S; Kawahara, H; Hasenaka, H; Kobayashi, A; Okada, S; Sugiyama, S; Adachi, H; Matsumura, H; Takano, K; Murakami, S; Inoue, T; Sasaki, T; Mori, Y

    2008-05-01

    To investigate quantitatively the effects of stirring on protein crystallization, a new stirring system which can agitate a protein solution, approximately 100 nl, by providing Hagen-Poiseuille flow has been successfully developed. In addition, this new stirring system provides flow with a well defined pattern and velocity. Using this system, hen egg-white lysozyme was crystallized in 100-200 nl solutions while being stirred. The optimum stirring conditions for lysozyme crystals have been explored by evaluating the Reynolds (Re) number and the crystals obtained. Intermittent flow, as well as a low Re number, was found to contribute significantly to the growth of a smaller number of larger crystals. PMID:18421156

  8. Design Principles for Broad-Spectrum Protein-Crystal Nucleants with Nanoscale Pits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Meel, Jacobus A.; Sear, Richard P.; Frenkel, Daan

    2010-11-01

    Growing high-quality crystals is a bottleneck in the determination of protein structures by x-ray diffraction. Experiments find that materials with a disordered pitted surface seed the growth of protein crystals. Here we report computer simulations of rapid crystal nucleation in nanoscale pits. Nucleation is rapid, as the crystal forms in pits that have filled with liquid via capillary condensation. Surprisingly, we find that pits whose surfaces are rough are better than pits with crystalline surfaces; the roughness prevents the growing crystal from trying to conform to the pit surface and becoming strained.

  9. Theory of protein crystal nucleation and growth controlled by solvent evaporation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baird, James K.

    1999-08-01

    The driving force for protein crystallization is the supersaturation. In the case of crystal growth in a hanging drop, the supersaturation at early times is controlled by the dynamics of solvent evaporation and is largely independent of the rate of appearance of the crystals. This permits the equations of Johnson, Mehl, Avrami, and Kolomogrov to be integrated using the classic model for crystal nucleation and the spiral dislocation model for crystal growth. As results one obtains a formula for the number of crystals in the drop and another formula for their average size. The parameters in these formulae include either explicitly or implicitly the protein mass, temperature, pH, and ionic strength, which are the independent variables known experimentally to influence the overall rate of protein crystallization.

  10. Extracellular matrix protein in calcified endoskeleton: a potential additive for crystal growth and design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azizur Rahman, M.; Fujimura, Hiroyuki; Shinjo, Ryuichi; Oomori, Tamotsu

    2011-06-01

    In this study, we demonstrate a key function of extracellular matrix proteins (ECMPs) on seed crystals, which are isolated from calcified endoskeletons of soft coral and contain only CaCO 3 without any living cells. This is the first report that an ECMP protein extracted from a marine organism could potentially influence in modifying the surface of a substrate for designing materials via crystallization. We previously studied with the ECMPs from a different type of soft coral ( Sinularia polydactyla) without introducing any seed crystals in the process , which showed different results. Thus, crystallization on the seed in the presence of ECMPs of present species is an important first step toward linking function to individual proteins from soft coral. For understanding this interesting phenomenon, in vitro crystallization was initiated in a supersaturated solution on seed particles of calcite (1 0 4) with and without ECMPs. No change in the crystal growth shape occurred without ECMPs present during the crystallization process. However, with ECMPs, the morphology and phase of the crystals in the crystallization process changed dramatically. Upon completion of crystallization with ECMPs, an attractive crystal morphology was found. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was utilized to observe the crystal morphologies on the seeds surface. The mineral phases of crystals nucleated by ECMPs on the seeds surface were examined by Raman spectroscopy. Although 50 mM Mg 2+ is influential in making aragonite in the crystallization process, the ECMPs significantly made calcite crystals even when 50 mM Mg 2+ was present in the process. Crystallization with the ECMP additive seems to be a technically attractive strategy to generate assembled micro crystals that could be used in crystals growth and design in the Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

  11. Graphene as a protein crystal mounting material to reduce background scatter

    PubMed Central

    Wierman, Jennifer L.; Alden, Jonathan S.; Kim, Chae Un; McEuen, Paul L.; Gruner, Sol M.

    2013-01-01

    The overall signal-to-noise ratio per unit dose for X-ray diffraction data from protein crystals can be improved by reducing the mass and density of all material surrounding the crystals. This article demonstrates a path towards the practical ultimate in background reduction by use of atomically thin graphene sheets as a crystal mounting platform for protein crystals. The results show the potential for graphene in protein crystallography and other cases where X-ray scatter from the mounting material must be reduced and specimen dehydration prevented, such as in coherent X-ray diffraction imaging of microscopic objects. PMID:24068843

  12. Real-time investigation of dynamic protein crystallization in living cellsa)

    PubMed Central

    Schönherr, R.; Klinge, M.; Rudolph, J. M.; Fita, K.; Rehders, D.; Lübber, F.; Schneegans, S.; Majoul, I. V.; Duszenko, M.; Betzel, C.; Brandariz-Nuñez, A.; Martinez-Costas, J.; Duden, R.; Redecke, L.

    2015-01-01

    X-ray crystallography requires sufficiently large crystals to obtain structural insights at atomic resolution, routinely obtained in vitro by time-consuming screening. Recently, successful data collection was reported from protein microcrystals grown within living cells using highly brilliant free-electron laser and third-generation synchrotron radiation. Here, we analyzed in vivo crystal growth of firefly luciferase and Green Fluorescent Protein-tagged reovirus μNS by live-cell imaging, showing that dimensions of living cells did not limit crystal size. The crystallization process is highly dynamic and occurs in different cellular compartments. In vivo protein crystallization offers exciting new possibilities for proteins that do not form crystals in vitro. PMID:26798811

  13. Understanding the Physical Properties that Control Protein Crystallization by Analysis of Large-Scale Experimental Data

    SciTech Connect

    Price, W.; Chen, Y; Handelman, S; Neely, H; Manor, P; Karlin, R; Nair, R; Montelione, G; Hunt, J; et. al.

    2008-01-01

    Crystallization is the most serious bottleneck in high-throughput protein-structure determination by diffraction methods. We have used data mining of the large-scale experimental results of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium and experimental folding studies to characterize the biophysical properties that control protein crystallization. This analysis leads to the conclusion that crystallization propensity depends primarily on the prevalence of well-ordered surface epitopes capable of mediating interprotein interactions and is not strongly influenced by overall thermodynamic stability. We identify specific sequence features that correlate with crystallization propensity and that can be used to estimate the crystallization probability of a given construct. Analyses of entire predicted proteomes demonstrate substantial differences in the amino acid-sequence properties of human versus eubacterial proteins, which likely reflect differences in biophysical properties, including crystallization propensity. Our thermodynamic measurements do not generally support previous claims regarding correlations between sequence properties and protein stability.

  14. An electrically assisted device for protein crystallization in a vapor-diffusion setup

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Hernández, Edith; Stojanoff, Vivian; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto; Moreno, Abel; Sánchez-Puig, Nuria

    2013-01-01

    A new easy-to-use device has been designed and implemented for electric field-induced protein crystallization in a vapor-diffusion configuration. The device not only controls crystal nucleation by means of the electrical current, but also favors crystal growth owing to its vapor-diffusion setup. Crystallization was conducted in the presence of an internal electric field and direct current. The proteins investigated were lysozyme, as model protein, and 2TEL–lysozyme (a synthetic protein consisting of two tandem alpha helix motifs connected to a lysozyme moiety). Lysozyme crystals that grew attached to the cathode were larger than those grown attached to the anode or in the absence of an electric current. On the other hand, crystals of 2TEL–lysozyme qualitatively showed a better X-ray diffraction pattern when grown in the presence of an electric current. PMID:23682197

  15. Investigation of Advanced Processed Single-Crystal Turbine Blade Alloys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peters, B. J.; Biondo, C. M.; DeLuca, D. P.

    1995-01-01

    This investigation studied the influence of thermal processing and microstructure on the mechanical properties of the single-crystal, nickel-based superalloys PWA 1482 and PWA 1484. The objective of the program was to develop an improved single-crystal turbine blade alloy that is specifically tailored for use in hydrogen fueled rocket engine turbopumps. High-gradient casting, hot isostatic pressing (HIP), and alternate heat treatment (HT) processing parameters were developed to produce pore-free, eutectic-free microstructures with different (gamma)' precipitate morphologies. Test materials were cast in high thermal gradient solidification (greater than 30 C/cm (137 F/in.)) casting furnaces for reduced dendrite arm spacing, improved chemical homogeneity, and reduced interdendritic pore size. The HIP processing was conducted in 40 cm (15.7 in.) diameter production furnaces using a set of parameters selected from a trial matrix study. Metallography was conducted on test samples taken from each respective trial run to characterize the as-HIP microstructure. Post-HIP alternate HT processes were developed for each of the two alloys. The goal of the alternate HT processing was to fully solution the eutectic gamma/(gamma)' phase islands and to develop a series of modified (gamma)' morphologies for subsequent characterization testing. This was accomplished by slow cooling through the (gamma)' solvus at controlled rates to precipitate volume fractions of large (gamma)'. Post-solution alternate HT parameters were established for each alloy providing additional volume fractions of finer precipitates. Screening tests included tensile, high-cycle fatigue (HCF), smooth and notched low-cycle fatigue (LCF), creep, and fatigue crack growth evaluations performed in air and high pressure (34.5 MPa (5 ksi)) hydrogen at room and elevated temperature. Under the most severe embrittling conditions (HCF and smooth and notched LCF in 34.5 MPa (5 ksi) hydrogen at 20 C (68 F), screening test

  16. Effect of protein crystal hydration on side chain conformational heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atakisi, Hakan; Moreau, David; Hopkins, Jesse; Thorne, Robert; Robert Thorne's group Team

    The structure of protein crystals is determined in part by water-mediated interactions involving both protein surface-ordered (hydration) and bulk water, and so is sensitive to the relative humidity of the environment. Monoclinic lysozyme provides a remarkable model for studying structural changes induced by dehydration, as it maintains excellent order for relative humidities (r.h.) down to 5%, corresponding to solvent content of 9% by volume, much smaller than the 88% (22% by volume) at which lysozyme loses its enzymatic activity. Although the main chain conformation does not change significantly, the effect of dehydration on side chain conformations has not been systematically studied. High resolution (1.1 to 1.7 A) structural data sets for monoclinic lysozyme at r.h. between 99% and 11% have been analyzed to identify major and minor side chain conformers at each humidity, and to map out how the side chain conformational ensemble evolves with hydration. Modest dehydration produces comparable overall effects to cooling to T =100 K, but with conformational changes largely confined to solvent-exposed residues. The largest side chain conformation changes occur at humidities that deplete water within the first two hydration shells.

  17. Automation of Vapor-Diffusion Growth of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamrick, David T.; Bray, Terry L.

    2005-01-01

    Some improvements have been made in a system of laboratory equipment developed previously for studying the crystallization of proteins from solution by use of dynamically controlled flows of dry gas. The improvements involve mainly (1) automation of dispensing of liquids for starting experiments, (2) automatic control of drying of protein solutions during the experiments, and (3) provision for automated acquisition of video images for monitoring experiments in progress and for post-experiment analysis. The automation of dispensing of liquids was effected by adding an automated liquid-handling robot that can aspirate source solutions and dispense them in either a hanging-drop or a sitting-drop configuration, whichever is specified, in each of 48 experiment chambers. A video camera of approximately the size and shape of a lipstick dispenser was added to a mobile stage that is part of the robot, in order to enable automated acquisition of images in each experiment chamber. The experiment chambers were redesigned to enable the use of sitting drops, enable backlighting of each specimen, and facilitate automation.

  18. Polarised photoselection and molecular dynamics in liquid crystals and proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryant, Jason

    Time resolved fluorescence polarisation studies of probe motion in a liquid crystal and protein matrix are presented. In this work, the dynamics and orientational properties of four common laser dyes (Oxazine 1, Oxazine 4, Rhodamine 6G and Rhodamine B) are determined in the liquid crystal 5CB. These studies provide the first direct measurement of θ and φ diffusion (hitherto unobserved) of molecular probes in a nematic host. A distinct anisotropy in θ and φ motion is observed, θ diffusion dynamics show a conventional Arrhenius temperature dependence in the approach to T NI. In contrast, φ motion is largely temperature independent and shows some evidence of slowing in the vicinity of the phase transition. From constructing the orientational distribution function P(θ), it is revealed that the dyes are aligned in pockets between the flexible tails of the host (θ ~ 38°) and conventional models assuming a cylindrical potential are shown to be non-applicable. These effects are most pronounced in Oxazine 4 whose alignment correlates strongly with that of the alkyl tails in 5CB. Here θ and φ diffusion dynamics are highly anisotropic with the ratio of τ20/τ22 in the region of 5:1. In the approach to TNI τ22 is seen to increase by c.a. 50% whilst τ20 shows a c.a 70% decrease. Measurements of Oxazine 4 motion in the Isotropic phase of 5CB indicate that the dye remains strongly correlated with the liquid crystal. Two diffusion times are observed consistent with restricted rotational diffusion within a more slowly diffusing arrangement (domain) of solvent molecules. The domain motion is seen to exhibit a Landau-de Gennes type temperature dependence whilst probe motion within the domains is seen to be largely temperature independent, similar behaviour having been recently reported for diffusion in pure 5CB. A central portion of the work concerns the development of a wholly new approach to polarised photoselection. A novel 3 beam photoselection technique in which

  19. Crystal Structure of the Protein Kinase Domain of Yeast AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Snf1

    SciTech Connect

    Rudolph,M.; Amodeo, G.; Bai, Y.; Tong, L.

    2005-01-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a master metabolic regulator, and is an important target for drug development against diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. AMPK is a hetero-trimeric enzyme, with a catalytic ({alpha}) subunit, and two regulatory ({beta} and {gamma}) subunits. Here we report the crystal structure at 2.2 Angstrom resolution of the protein kinase domain (KD) of the catalytic subunit of yeast AMPK (commonly known as SNF1). The Snf1-KD structure shares strong similarity to other protein kinases, with a small N-terminal lobe and a large C-terminal lobe. Two negative surface patches in the structure may be important for the recognition of the substrates of this kinase.

  20. Green Fluorescent Protein as a Model for Protein Crystal Growth Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agena, Sabine; Smith, Lori; Karr, Laurel; Pusey, Marc

    1998-01-01

    Green fluorescent protein (GFP) from jellyfish Aequorea Victoria has become a popular marker for e.g. mutagenesis work. Its fluorescent property, which originates from a chromophore located in the center of the molecule, makes it widely applicable as a research too]. GFP clones have been produced with a variety of spectral properties, such as blue and yellow emitting species. The protein is a single chain of molecular weight 27 kDa and its structure has been determined at 1.9 Angstrom resolution. The combination of GFP's fluorescent property, the knowledge of its several crystallization conditions, and its increasing use in biophysical and biochemical studies, all led us to consider it as a model material for macromolecular crystal growth studies. Initial preparations of GFP were from E.coli with yields of approximately 5 mg/L of culture media. Current yields are now in the 50 - 120 mg/L range, and we hope to further increase this by expression of the GFP gene in the Pichia system. The results of these efforts and of preliminary crystal growth studies will be presented.

  1. Influence of precipitating agents on thermodynamic parameters of protein crystallization solutions.

    PubMed

    Stavros, Philemon; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Nounesis, George

    2016-09-01

    X-ray crystallography is the most powerful method for determining three-dimensional structures of proteins to (near-)atomic resolution, but protein crystallization is a poorly explained and often intractable phenomenon. Differential Scanning Calorimetry was used to measure the thermodynamic parameters (ΔG, ΔH, ΔS) of temperature-driven unfolding of two globular proteins, lysozyme, and ribonuclease A, in various salt solutions. The mixtures were categorized into those that were conducive to crystallization of the protein and those that were not. It was found that even fairly low salt concentrations had very large effects on thermodynamic parameters. High concentrations of salts conducive to crystallization stabilized the native folded forms of proteins, whereas high concentrations of salts that did not crystallize them tended to destabilize them. Considering the ΔH and TΔS contributions to the ΔG of unfolding separately, high concentrations of crystallizing salts were found to enthalpically stabilize and entropically destabilize the protein, and vice-versa for the noncrystallizing salts. These observations suggest an explanation, in terms of protein stability and entropy of hydration, of why some salts are good crystallization agents for a given protein and others are not. This in turn provides theoretical insight into the process of protein crystallization, suggesting ways of predicting and controlling it. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 105: 642-652, 2016. PMID:27114109

  2. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of merohedrally twinned crystals of MJ0729, a CBS-domain protein from Methanococcus jannaschii

    SciTech Connect

    Fernández-Millán, Pablo; Kortazar, Danel; Lucas, María; Martínez-Chantar, María Luz; Astigarraga, Egoitz; Fernández, José Andrés; Albert, Armando; Martínez-Cruz, Luis Alfonso

    2008-07-01

    Trigonal crystals of MJ0729 showing different degrees of merohedral twinning that may vary from perfect hemihedral twinning to perfect tetartohedral twinning were obtained upon slight variation of the pH. CBS domains are small protein motifs, usually associated in tandem, that are implicated in binding to adenosyl groups. Several genetic diseases in humans have been associated with mutations in CBS sequences, which has made them very promising targets for rational drug design. Trigonal crystals of the CBS-domain protein MJ0729 from Methanococcus jannaschii were grown by the vapour-diffusion method at acidic pH. Preliminary analysis of nine X-ray diffraction data sets using Yeates statistics and Britton plots showed that slight variation in the pH as well as in the buffer used in the crystallization experiments led to crystals with different degrees of merohedral twinning that may vary from perfect hemihedral twinning to perfect tetartohedral twinning.

  3. Metal-assisted and microwave accelerated-evaporative crystallization: Application to lysozyme protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauge-Lewis, Kevin

    In response to the growing need for new crystallization techniques that afford for rapid processing times along with control over crystal size and distribution, the Aslan Research Group has recently demonstrated the use of Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization MA-MAEC technique in conjunction with metal nanoparticles and nanostructures for the crystallization of amino acids and organic small molecules. In this study, we have employed the newly developed MA-MAEC technique to the accelerated crystallization of chicken egg-white lysozyme on circular crystallization platforms in order to demonstrate the proof-of-principle application of the method for protein crystallization. The circular crystallization platforms are constructed in-house from poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and silver nanoparticle films (SNFs), indium tin oxide (ITO) and iron nano-columns. In this study, we prove the MA-MAEC method to be a more effective technique in the rapid crystallization of macromolecules in comparison to other conventional methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of the novel iCrystal system, which incorporates the use of continuous, low wattage heating to facilitate the rapid crystallization of the lysozyme while still retaining excellent crystal quality. With the incorporation of the iCrystal system, we observe crystallization times that are even shorter than those produced by the MA-MAEC technique using a conventional microwave oven in addition to significantly improved crystal quality.

  4. In situ X-ray data collection and structure phasing of protein crystals at Structural Biology Center 19-ID.

    PubMed

    Michalska, Karolina; Tan, Kemin; Chang, Changsoo; Li, Hui; Hatzos-Skintges, Catherine; Molitsky, Michael; Alkire, Randy; Joachimiak, Andrzej

    2015-11-01

    A prototype of a 96-well plate scanner for in situ data collection has been developed at the Structural Biology Center (SBC) beamline 19-ID, located at the Advanced Photon Source, USA. The applicability of this instrument for protein crystal diffraction screening and data collection at ambient temperature has been demonstrated. Several different protein crystals, including selenium-labeled, were used for data collection and successful SAD phasing. Without the common procedure of crystal handling and subsequent cryo-cooling for data collection at T = 100 K, crystals in a crystallization buffer show remarkably low mosaicity (<0.1°) until deterioration by radiation damage occurs. Data presented here show that cryo-cooling can cause some unexpected structural changes. Based on the results of this study, the integration of the plate scanner into the 19-ID end-station with automated controls is being prepared. With improvement of hardware and software, in situ data collection will become available for the SBC user program including remote access. PMID:26524303

  5. Mechanisms of protein and virus crystal growth: An atomic force microscopy study of canavalin and STMV crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Land, T.A.; De Yoreo, J.J.; Malkin, A.J.; Kutznesov, Yu.G.; McPherson, A.

    1996-05-01

    The evolution of surface morphology and step dynamics during growth of rhombohedral crystals of the protein canavalin and crystals of the cubic satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV) have been investigated for the first time by in situ atomic force microscopy. These two crystals were observed to grow by very different mechanisms. Growth of canavalin occurs on complex vicinal hillocks formed by multiple, independently acting screw dislocations. Small clusters were observed on the terraces. STMV on the other hand, was observed to grow by 2D nucleation of islands. No dislocations were found on the crystal. The results are used to determine the growth mechanisms and estimate the fundamental materials parameters. The images also illustrate the important mechanism of defect incorporation and provide insight to the processes that limit the growth rate and uniformity of these crystals.

  6. Cyclic olefin homopolymer-based microfluidics for protein crystallization and in situ X-ray diffraction

    SciTech Connect

    Emamzadah, Soheila; Petty, Tom J.; De Almeida, Victor; Nishimura, Taisuke; Joly, Jacques; Ferrer, Jean-Luc; Halazonetis, Thanos D.

    2009-09-01

    A cyclic olefin homopolymer-based microfluidics system has been established for protein crystallization and in situ X-ray diffraction. Microfluidics is a promising technology for the rapid identification of protein crystallization conditions. However, most of the existing systems utilize silicone elastomers as the chip material which, despite its many benefits, is highly permeable to water vapour. This limits the time available for protein crystallization to less than a week. Here, the use of a cyclic olefin homopolymer-based microfluidics system for protein crystallization and in situ X-ray diffraction is described. Liquid handling in this system is performed in 2 mm thin transparent cards which contain 500 chambers, each with a volume of 320 nl. Microbatch, vapour-diffusion and free-interface diffusion protocols for protein crystallization were implemented and crystals were obtained of a number of proteins, including chicken lysozyme, bovine trypsin, a human p53 protein containing both the DNA-binding and oligomerization domains bound to DNA and a functionally important domain of Arabidopsis Morpheus’ molecule 1 (MOM1). The latter two polypeptides have not been crystallized previously. For X-ray diffraction analysis, either the cards were opened to allow mounting of the crystals on loops or the crystals were exposed to X-rays in situ. For lysozyme, an entire X-ray diffraction data set at 1.5 Å resolution was collected without removing the crystal from the card. Thus, cyclic olefin homopolymer-based microfluidics systems have the potential to further automate protein crystallization and structural genomics efforts.

  7. Novel Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal protein with a silent activity against coleopteran larvae.

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, B; Höfte, H; Annys, K; Jansens, S; Soetaert, P; Peferoen, M

    1992-01-01

    A novel Bacillus thuringiensis crystal protein with a silent activity against the Colorado potato beetle is described. The crystal proteins are produced as bipyramidal crystals. These crystals contain a protein of 129 kDa with a trypsin-resistant core fragment of 72 kDa. Neither a spore-crystal mixture nor in vitro-solubilized crystals are toxic to any of several Lepidoptera and Coleoptera species tested. In contrast, a trypsin-treated solution containing the 72-kDa tryptic core fragment of the protoxin is highly toxic to Colorado potato beetle larvae. The crystal protein-encoding gene was cloned and sequenced. The inferred amino acid sequence of the putative toxic fragment has 37, 32, and 33% homology to the CryIIIA, CryIIIB, and CryIIID toxins, respectively. Interestingly, the 501 C-terminal amino acids show 41 to 48% amino acid identity with corresponding C-terminal amino acid sequences of other crystal proteins. Because of the toxicity of the fragment to the Colorado potato beetle and because of the distinct similarities of the toxic fragment with the other CryIII proteins, this gene was given a new subclass name (cryIIIC) within the CryIII class of coleopteran-active crystal proteins. CryIIIC represents the first example of a crystal protein with a silent activity towards coleopteran insect larvae. Natural CryIIIC crystals are not toxic. Toxicity is revealed only after an in vitro solubilization and activation step. Images PMID:1514800

  8. Watching Proteins Direct Crystal Growth One Step at a Time

    SciTech Connect

    2009-01-01

    Researchers at Berkeley Labs Molecular Foundry use an atomic force microscope to record this movie of a peptide being adsorbed to a crystal surface while two successive crystal steps interact, then progress beyond the peptide. The peptide temporarily slows the step before transferring up to the next atomic layer. The lattice pattern on the surface corresponds to the molecular structure of the underlying crystal.

  9. Cleaved thioredoxin fusion protein enables the crystallization of poorly soluble ERα in complex with synthetic ligands

    SciTech Connect

    Cura, Vincent; Gangloff, Monique; Eiler, Sylvia; Moras, Dino; Ruff, Marc

    2008-01-01

    A new crystallization strategy: the presence of cleaved thioredoxin fusion is critical for crystallization of the estrogen nuclear receptor ligand binding domain in complex with synthetic ligands. This novel technique should be regarded as an interesting alternative for crystallization of difficult proteins. The ligand-binding domain (LBD) of human oestrogen receptor α was produced in Escherichia coli as a cleavable thioredoxin (Trx) fusion in order to improve solubility. Crystallization trials with either cleaved and purified LBD or with the purified fusion protein both failed to produce crystals. In another attempt, Trx was not removed from the LBD after endoproteolytic cleavage and its presence promoted nucleation and subsequent crystal growth, which allowed the structure determination of two different LBD–ligand–coactivator peptide complexes at 2.3 Å resolution. This technique is likely to be applicable to other low-solubility proteins.

  10. An approach to crystallizing proteins by metal-mediated synthetic symmetrization

    SciTech Connect

    Laganowsky, Arthur; Zhao, Minglei; Soriaga, Angela B.; Sawaya, Michael R.; Cascio, Duilio; Yeates, Todd O.

    2011-12-09

    Combining the concepts of synthetic symmetrization with the approach of engineering metal-binding sites, we have developed a new crystallization methodology termed metal-mediated synthetic symmetrization. In this method, pairs of histidine or cysteine mutations are introduced on the surface of target proteins, generating crystal lattice contacts or oligomeric assemblies upon coordination with metal. Metal-mediated synthetic symmetrization greatly expands the packing and oligomeric assembly possibilities of target proteins, thereby increasing the chances of growing diffraction-quality crystals. To demonstrate this method, we designed various T4 lysozyme (T4L) and maltose-binding protein (MBP) mutants and cocrystallized them with one of three metal ions: copper (Cu2+), nickel (Ni2+), or zinc (Zn2+). The approach resulted in 16 new crystal structures-eight for T4L and eight for MBP-displaying a variety of oligomeric assemblies and packing modes, representing in total 13 new and distinct crystal forms for these proteins. We discuss the potential utility of the method for crystallizing target proteins of unknown structure by engineering in pairs of histidine or cysteine residues. As an alternate strategy, we propose that the varied crystallization-prone forms of T4L or MBP engineered in this work could be used as crystallization chaperones, by fusing them genetically to target proteins of interest.

  11. An approach to crystallizing proteins by metal-mediated synthetic symmetrization.

    PubMed

    Laganowsky, Arthur; Zhao, Minglei; Soriaga, Angela B; Sawaya, Michael R; Cascio, Duilio; Yeates, Todd O

    2011-11-01

    Combining the concepts of synthetic symmetrization with the approach of engineering metal-binding sites, we have developed a new crystallization methodology termed metal-mediated synthetic symmetrization. In this method, pairs of histidine or cysteine mutations are introduced on the surface of target proteins, generating crystal lattice contacts or oligomeric assemblies upon coordination with metal. Metal-mediated synthetic symmetrization greatly expands the packing and oligomeric assembly possibilities of target proteins, thereby increasing the chances of growing diffraction-quality crystals. To demonstrate this method, we designed various T4 lysozyme (T4L) and maltose-binding protein (MBP) mutants and cocrystallized them with one of three metal ions: copper (Cu²⁺, nickel (Ni²⁺), or zinc (Zn²⁺). The approach resulted in 16 new crystal structures--eight for T4L and eight for MBP--displaying a variety of oligomeric assemblies and packing modes, representing in total 13 new and distinct crystal forms for these proteins. We discuss the potential utility of the method for crystallizing target proteins of unknown structure by engineering in pairs of histidine or cysteine residues. As an alternate strategy, we propose that the varied crystallization-prone forms of T4L or MBP engineered in this work could be used as crystallization chaperones, by fusing them genetically to target proteins of interest. PMID:21898649

  12. Nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS) of rubredoxin and MoFe protein crystals

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yisong; Brecht, Eric; Aznavour, Kristen; Nix, Jay C.; Xiao, Yuming; Wang, Hongxin; George, Simon J.; Bau, Robert; Keable, Stephen; Peters, John W.; Adams, Michael W.W.; Jenney, Francis; Sturhahn, Wolfgang; Alp, Ercan E.; Zhao, Jiyong; Yoda, Yoshitaka; Cramer, Stephen P.

    2014-01-01

    We have applied 57Fe nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS) for the first time to study the dynamics of Fe centers in Fe-S protein crystals, including oxidized wild type rubredoxin crystals from Pyrococcus furiosus, and the MoFe protein of nitrogenase from Azotobacter vinelandii. Thanks to the NRVS selection rule, selectively probed vibrational modes have been observed in both oriented rubredoxin and MoFe protein crystals. The NRVS work was complemented by extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS) measurements on oxidized wild type rubredoxin crystals from Pyrococcus furiosus. The EXAFS spectra revealed the Fe-S bond length difference in oxidized Pf Rd protein, which is qualitatively consistent with the X-ray crystal structure. PMID:26052177

  13. Femtosecond X-ray Diffraction From Two-Dimensional Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Frank, Matthias; Carlson, David B.; Hunter, Mark; Williams, Garth J.; Messerschmidt, Marc; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Barty, Anton; Benner, Henry; Chu, Kaiqin; Graf, Alexander; Hau-Riege, Stefan; Kirian, Rick; Padeste, Celestino; Pardini, Tommaso; Pedrini, Bill; Segelke, Brent; Seibert, M. M.; Spence, John C.; Tsai, Ching-Ju; Lane, Steve M.; Li, Xiao-Dan; Schertler, Gebhard; Boutet, Sebastien; Coleman, Matthew A.; Evans, James E.

    2014-02-28

    Here we present femtosecond x-ray diffraction patterns from two-dimensional (2-D) protein crystals using an x-ray free electron laser (XFEL). To date it has not been possible to acquire x-ray diffraction from individual 2-D protein crystals due to radiation damage. However, the intense and ultrafast pulses generated by an XFEL permits a new method of collecting diffraction data before the sample is destroyed. Utilizing a diffract-before-destroy methodology at the Linac Coherent Light Source, we observed Bragg diffraction to better than 8.5 Å resolution for two different 2-D protein crystal samples that were maintained at room temperature. These proof-of-principle results show promise for structural analysis of both soluble and membrane proteins arranged as 2-D crystals without requiring cryogenic conditions or the formation of three-dimensional crystals.

  14. Nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS) of rubredoxin and MoFe protein crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Yisong; Brecht, Eric; Aznavour, Kristen; Nix, Jay C.; Xiao, Yuming; Wang, Hongxin; George, Simon J.; Bau, Robert; Keable, Stephen; Peters, John W.; Adams, Michael W. W.; , Francis E. Jenney, Jr.; Sturhahn, Wolfgang; Alp, Ercan E.; Zhao, Jiyong; Yoda, Yoshitaka; Cramer, Stephen P.

    2013-12-01

    We have applied 57Fe nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS) for the first time to study the dynamics of Fe centers in Iron-sulfur protein crystals, including oxidized wild type rubredoxin crystals from Pyrococcus furiosus, and the MoFe protein of nitrogenase from Azotobacter vinelandii. Thanks to the NRVS selection rule, selectively probed vibrational modes have been observed in both oriented rubredoxin and MoFe protein crystals. The NRVS work was complemented by extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS) measurements on oxidized wild type rubredoxin crystals from Pyrococcus furiosus. The EXAFS spectra revealed the Fe-S bond length difference in oxidized Pf Rd protein, which is qualitatively consistent with the crystal structure.

  15. High-pressure hydrogen testing of single crystal superalloys for advanced rocket engine turbopump turbine blades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alter, W. S.; Parr, R. A.; Johnston, M. H.; Strizak, J. P.

    1984-01-01

    A screening program to determine the effects of high pressure hydrogen on selected candidate materials for advanced single crystal turbine blade applications is examined. The alloys chosen for the investigation are CM SX-2, CM SX-4C, Rene N-4, and PWA1480. Testing is carried out in hydrogen and helium at 34 MPa and room temperature, with both notched and unnotched single crystal specimens. Results show a significant variation in susceptibility to Hydrogen Environment Embrittlement (HEE) among the four alloys and a marked difference in fracture topography between hydrogen and helium environment specimens.

  16. Crystal structure of a core spliceosomal protein interface.

    PubMed

    Schellenberg, Matthew J; Edwards, Ross A; Ritchie, Dustin B; Kent, Oliver A; Golas, Monika M; Stark, Holger; Lührmann, Reinhard; Glover, J N Mark; MacMillan, Andrew M

    2006-01-31

    The precise excision of introns from precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) in eukaryotes is accomplished by the spliceosome, a complex assembly containing five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) particles. Human p14, a component of the spliceosomal U2 and U11/U12 snRNPs, has been shown to associate directly with the pre-mRNA branch adenosine early in spliceosome assembly and within the fully assembled spliceosome. Here we report the 2.5-A crystal structure of a complex containing p14 and a peptide derived from the p14-associated U2 snRNP component SF3b155. p14 contains an RNA recognition motif (RRM), the surface of which is largely occluded by a C-terminal alpha-helix and a portion of the SF3b155 peptide. An analysis of RNA.protein crosslinking to wild-type and mutant p14 shows that the branch adenosine directly interacts with a conserved aromatic within a pocket on the surface of the complex. This result, combined with a comparison of the structure with known RRMs and pseudoRRMs as well as model-building by using the electron cryomicroscopy structure of a spliceosomal U11/U12 di-snRNP, suggests that p14.SF3b155 presents a noncanonical surface for RNA recognition at the heart of the mammalian spliceosome. PMID:16432215

  17. X-ray structure of snow flea antifreeze protein determined by racemic crystallization of synthetic protein enantiomers.

    PubMed

    Pentelute, Brad L; Gates, Zachary P; Tereshko, Valentina; Dashnau, Jennifer L; Vanderkooi, Jane M; Kossiakoff, Anthony A; Kent, Stephen B H

    2008-07-30

    Chemical protein synthesis and racemic protein crystallization were used to determine the X-ray structure of the snow flea antifreeze protein (sfAFP). Crystal formation from a racemic solution containing equal amounts of the chemically synthesized proteins d-sfAFP and l-sfAFP occurred much more readily than for l-sfAFP alone. More facile crystal formation also occurred from a quasi-racemic mixture of d-sfAFP and l-Se-sfAFP, a chemical protein analogue that contains an additional -SeCH2- moiety at one residue and thus differs slightly from the true enantiomer. Multiple wavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) phasing from quasi-racemate crystals was then used to determine the X-ray structure of the sfAFP protein molecule. The resulting model was used to solve by molecular replacement the X-ray structure of l-sfAFP to a resolution of 0.98 A. The l-sfAFP molecule is made up of six antiparallel left-handed PPII helixes, stacked in two sets of three, to form a compact brick-like structure with one hydrophilic face and one hydrophobic face. This is a novel experimental protein structure and closely resembles a structural model proposed for sfAFP. These results illustrate the utility of total chemical synthesis combined with racemic crystallization and X-ray crystallography for determining the unknown structure of a protein. PMID:18598029

  18. X-ray Structure of Snow Flea Antifreeze Protein Determined by Racemic Crystallization of Synthetic Protein Enantiomers

    SciTech Connect

    Pentelute, Brad L.; Gates, Zachary P.; Tereshko, Valentina; Dashnau, Jennifer L.; Vanderkooi, Jane M.; Kossiakoff, Anthony A.; Kent, Stephen B.H.

    2008-08-20

    Chemical protein synthesis and racemic protein crystallization were used to determine the X-ray structure of the snow flea antifreeze protein (sfAFP). Crystal formation from a racemic solution containing equal amounts of the chemically synthesized proteins d-sfAFP and l-sfAFP occurred much more readily than for l-sfAFP alone. More facile crystal formation also occurred from a quasi-racemic mixture of d-sfAFP and l-Se-sfAFP, a chemical protein analogue that contains an additional -SeCH2- moiety at one residue and thus differs slightly from the true enantiomer. Multiple wavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) phasing from quasi-racemate crystals was then used to determine the X-ray structure of the sfAFP protein molecule. The resulting model was used to solve by molecular replacement the X-ray structure of l-sfAFP to a resolution of 0.98 {angstrom}. The l-sfAFP molecule is made up of six antiparallel left-handed PPII helixes, stacked in two sets of three, to form a compact brick-like structure with one hydrophilic face and one hydrophobic face. This is a novel experimental protein structure and closely resembles a structural model proposed for sfAFP. These results illustrate the utility of total chemical synthesis combined with racemic crystallization and X-ray crystallography for determining the unknown structure of a protein.

  19. Ultracentrifugal crystallization of proteins: transport-kinetic modelling, and experimental behavior of catalase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenhoff, A. M.; Pjura, P. E.; Dilmore, J. G.; Godlewski, T. S.

    1997-09-01

    Although ultracentrifugal crystallization (UC) of proteins has been demonstrated previously and its main advantages established, a clear quantitative understanding of the phenomena involved has not been presented. This issue is addressed here by development of a model accounting for the key transport (sedimentation, diffusion) and kinetic (nucleation, growth) effects in UC. Numerical solution of the governing equations shows how the protein concentration profile changes with time, and how it interacts with the crystallization kinetic phenomena near the bottom of the tube to give rise to protein crystals. It is shown that the centrifugal speed and the initial protein concentration represent the most convenient parameters to use in manipulating crystallization behavior. Some of the predicted features of UC behavior were explored experimentally using bovine liver catalase. Crystal size increased and optical activity improved as the initial protein concentration was reduced. Crystallization was very robust to the presence of appreciable quantities of impurities. UC appears to be an underused route to protein crystallization, and the availability of a quantitative model may aid in its application to novel protein systems.

  20. Laboratory multiple-crystal X-ray topography and reciprocal-space mapping of protein crystals: influence of impurities on crystal perfection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.; Thomas, B. R.; Chernov, A. A.

    2001-01-01

    Double-axis multiple-crystal X-ray topography, rocking-curve measurements and triple-axis reciprocal-space mapping have been combined to characterize protein crystals using a laboratory source. Crystals of lysozyme and lysozyme crystals doped with acetylated lysozyme impurities were examined. It was shown that the incorporation of acetylated lysozyme into crystals of lysozyme induces mosaic domains that are responsible for the broadening and/or splitting of rocking curves and diffraction-space maps along the direction normal to the reciprocal-lattice vector, while the overall elastic lattice strain of the impurity-doped crystals does not appear to be appreciable in high angular resolution reciprocal-space maps. Multiple-crystal monochromatic X-ray topography, which is highly sensitive to lattice distortions, was used to reveal the spatial distribution of mosaic domains in crystals which correlates with the diffraction features in reciprocal space. Discussions of the influence of acetylated lysozyme on crystal perfection are given in terms of our observations.

  1. Macro-to-Micro Structural Proteomics: Native Source Proteins for High-Throughput Crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Nanao, Max; Gee, Christine L.; Moskaleva, Alisa; Gradia, Scott; Iavarone, Anthony T.; Berger, James M.; May, Andrew P.; Zubieta, Chloe; Alber, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Structural biology and structural genomics projects routinely rely on recombinantly expressed proteins, but many proteins and complexes are difficult to obtain by this approach. We investigated native source proteins for high-throughput protein crystallography applications. The Escherichia coli proteome was fractionated, purified, crystallized, and structurally characterized. Macro-scale fermentation and fractionation were used to subdivide the soluble proteome into 408 unique fractions of which 295 fractions yielded crystals in microfluidic crystallization chips. Of the 295 crystals, 152 were selected for optimization, diffraction screening, and data collection. Twenty-three structures were determined, four of which were novel. This study demonstrates the utility of native source proteins for high-throughput crystallography. PMID:22393408

  2. Acoustic transfer of protein crystals from agarose pedestals to micromeshes for high-throughput screening

    SciTech Connect

    Cuttitta, Christina M.; Ericson, Daniel L.; Scalia, Alexander; Roessler, Christian G.; Teplitsky, Ella; Joshi, Karan; Campos, Olven; Agarwal, Rakhi; Allaire, Marc; Orville, Allen M.; Sweet, Robert M.; Soares, Alexei S.

    2014-06-01

    Acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) is an emerging technology with broad applications in serial crystallography such as growing, improving and manipulating protein crystals. One application of this technology is to gently transfer crystals onto MiTeGen micromeshes with minimal solvent. Once mounted on a micromesh, each crystal can be combined with different chemicals such as crystal-improving additives or a fragment library. Acoustic crystal mounting is fast (2.33 transfers s-1) and all transfers occur in a sealed environment that is in vapor equilibrium with the mother liquor. Here, a system is presented to retain crystals near the ejection point and away from the inaccessible dead volume at the bottom of the well by placing the crystals on a concave agarose pedestal (CAP) with the same chemical composition as the crystal mother liquor. The bowl-shaped CAP is impenetrable to crystals. Consequently, gravity will gently move the crystals into the optimal location for acoustic ejection. It is demonstrated that an agarose pedestal of this type is compatible with most commercially available crystallization conditions and that protein crystals are readily transferred from the agarose pedestal onto micromeshes with no loss in diffraction quality. It is also shown that crystals can be grown directly on CAPs, which avoids the need to transfer the crystals from the hanging drop to a CAP. This technology has been used to combine thermolysin and lysozyme crystals with an assortment of anomalously scattering heavy atoms. The results point towards a fast nanolitre method for crystal mounting and high-throughput screening.

  3. Acoustic transfer of protein crystals from agarose pedestals to micromeshes for high-throughput screening

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Cuttitta, Christina M.; Ericson, Daniel L.; Scalia, Alexander; Roessler, Christian G.; Teplitsky, Ella; Joshi, Karan; Campos, Olven; Agarwal, Rakhi; Allaire, Marc; Orville, Allen M.; et al

    2014-06-01

    Acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) is an emerging technology with broad applications in serial crystallography such as growing, improving and manipulating protein crystals. One application of this technology is to gently transfer crystals onto MiTeGen micromeshes with minimal solvent. Once mounted on a micromesh, each crystal can be combined with different chemicals such as crystal-improving additives or a fragment library. Acoustic crystal mounting is fast (2.33 transfers s-1) and all transfers occur in a sealed environment that is in vapor equilibrium with the mother liquor. Here, a system is presented to retain crystals near the ejection point and away from themore » inaccessible dead volume at the bottom of the well by placing the crystals on a concave agarose pedestal (CAP) with the same chemical composition as the crystal mother liquor. The bowl-shaped CAP is impenetrable to crystals. Consequently, gravity will gently move the crystals into the optimal location for acoustic ejection. It is demonstrated that an agarose pedestal of this type is compatible with most commercially available crystallization conditions and that protein crystals are readily transferred from the agarose pedestal onto micromeshes with no loss in diffraction quality. It is also shown that crystals can be grown directly on CAPs, which avoids the need to transfer the crystals from the hanging drop to a CAP. This technology has been used to combine thermolysin and lysozyme crystals with an assortment of anomalously scattering heavy atoms. The results point towards a fast nanolitre method for crystal mounting and high-throughput screening.« less

  4. Acoustic transfer of protein crystals from agarose pedestals to micromeshes for high-throughput screening

    PubMed Central

    Cuttitta, Christina M.; Ericson, Daniel L.; Scalia, Alexander; Roessler, Christian G.; Teplitsky, Ella; Joshi, Karan; Campos, Olven; Agarwal, Rakhi; Allaire, Marc; Orville, Allen M.; Sweet, Robert M.; Soares, Alexei S.

    2015-01-01

    Acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) is an emerging technology with broad applications in serial crystallography such as growing, improving and manipulating protein crystals. One application of this technology is to gently transfer crystals onto MiTeGen micromeshes with minimal solvent. Once mounted on a micromesh, each crystal can be combined with different chemicals such as crystal-improving additives or a fragment library. Acoustic crystal mounting is fast (2.33 transfers s−1) and all transfers occur in a sealed environment that is in vapor equilibrium with the mother liquor. Here, a system is presented to retain crystals near the ejection point and away from the inaccessible dead volume at the bottom of the well by placing the crystals on a concave agarose pedestal (CAP) with the same chemical composition as the crystal mother liquor. The bowl-shaped CAP is impenetrable to crystals. Consequently, gravity will gently move the crystals into the optimal location for acoustic ejection. It is demonstrated that an agarose pedestal of this type is compatible with most commercially available crystallization conditions and that protein crystals are readily transferred from the agarose pedestal onto micromeshes with no loss in diffraction quality. It is also shown that crystals can be grown directly on CAPs, which avoids the need to transfer the crystals from the hanging drop to a CAP. This technology has been used to combine thermolysin and lysozyme crystals with an assortment of anomalously scattering heavy atoms. The results point towards a fast nanolitre method for crystal mounting and high-throughput screening. PMID:25615864

  5. Intracrystalline Proteins Promote Dissolution of Urinary Calcium Oxalate Crystals in Cultured Renal Epithelial Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grover, Phulwinder K.; Thurgood, Lauren A.; Fleming, David E.; van Bronswijk, Wilhelm; Ryall, Rosemary L.

    2007-04-01

    We have proposed that internalized calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals containing intracrystalline proteins would be vulnerable to intracellular dissolution. The aims of this study were (1) to measure non-uniform strain and crystallite size in CaOx monohydrate (COM) crystals containing increasing amounts of intracrystalline crystal matrix extract (CME) and (2) to compare the rates of crystal dissolution in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCKII) cells. CME was isolated by demineralization of COM crystals generated from human urine. Cold and 14C-oxalate-labelled COM crystals were precipitated from ultrafiltered urine containing CME at final concentrations of 0-5mg/L. Non-uniform strain and crystallite size were determined using synchrotron X-ray diffraction with Rietveld whole-pattern peak fitting and profile analysis, and the protein content of the crystals was analyzed using SDS-PAGE and Western blotting for prothrombin fragment 1. Radiolabeled crystals were added to MDCKII cells and dissolution was expressed as radioactive label released into the medium relative to that in the crystals at zero time. Non-uniform strain increased and crystallite size decreased proportionally with rising CME concentration, reaching saturation between approximately 1 and 5 mg/L, and demonstrating unequivocally the inclusion of increasing quantities of proteins in the crystals. This was confirmed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. Crystal dissolution also followed saturation kinetics. These findings were confirmed by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), which showed that the degree of crystal degradation increased relative to CME concentration. We conclude that intracrystalline proteins enhance intracellular dissolution of CaOx crystals and thus may provide a natural defense against stone pathogenesis.

  6. Automated harvesting and processing of protein crystals through laser photoablation.

    PubMed

    Zander, Ulrich; Hoffmann, Guillaume; Cornaciu, Irina; Marquette, Jean-Pierre; Papp, Gergely; Landret, Christophe; Seroul, Gaël; Sinoir, Jérémy; Röwer, Martin; Felisaz, Frank; Rodriguez-Puente, Sonia; Mariaule, Vincent; Murphy, Peter; Mathieu, Magali; Cipriani, Florent; Márquez, José Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Currently, macromolecular crystallography projects often require the use of highly automated facilities for crystallization and X-ray data collection. However, crystal harvesting and processing largely depend on manual operations. Here, a series of new methods are presented based on the use of a low X-ray-background film as a crystallization support and a photoablation laser that enable the automation of major operations required for the preparation of crystals for X-ray diffraction experiments. In this approach, the controlled removal of the mother liquor before crystal mounting simplifies the cryocooling process, in many cases eliminating the use of cryoprotectant agents, while crystal-soaking experiments are performed through diffusion, precluding the need for repeated sample-recovery and transfer operations. Moreover, the high-precision laser enables new mounting strategies that are not accessible through other methods. This approach bridges an important gap in automation and can contribute to expanding the capabilities of modern macromolecular crystallography facilities. PMID:27050125

  7. Automated harvesting and processing of protein crystals through laser photoablation

    PubMed Central

    Zander, Ulrich; Hoffmann, Guillaume; Cornaciu, Irina; Marquette, Jean-Pierre; Papp, Gergely; Landret, Christophe; Seroul, Gaël; Sinoir, Jérémy; Röwer, Martin; Felisaz, Frank; Rodriguez-Puente, Sonia; Mariaule, Vincent; Murphy, Peter; Mathieu, Magali; Cipriani, Florent; Márquez, José Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Currently, macromolecular crystallography projects often require the use of highly automated facilities for crystallization and X-ray data collection. However, crystal harvesting and processing largely depend on manual operations. Here, a series of new methods are presented based on the use of a low X-ray-background film as a crystallization support and a photoablation laser that enable the automation of major operations required for the preparation of crystals for X-ray diffraction experiments. In this approach, the controlled removal of the mother liquor before crystal mounting simplifies the cryocooling process, in many cases eliminating the use of cryoprotectant agents, while crystal-soaking experiments are performed through diffusion, precluding the need for repeated sample-recovery and transfer operations. Moreover, the high-precision laser enables new mounting strategies that are not accessible through other methods. This approach bridges an important gap in automation and can contribute to expanding the capabilities of modern macromolecular crystallography facilities. PMID:27050125

  8. 'Seeding' with protease to optimize protein crystallization conditions in in situ proteolysis.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jinguang; Gong, Yanmei; Huang, Dan; Haire, Lesley; Liu, Junfeng; Peng, Youliang

    2012-05-01

    In situ proteolysis is one of the most effective rescue strategies for protein crystallization, and optimization of the ratio between the protein and the protease is one of the key steps in the process. Seeding is a very powerful tool to optimize crystallization conditions and can be performed by most crystallization robots. Addition of protease instead of seed stock using a robot can be used to optimize the concentration of protease in in situ proteolysis experiments and has been successfully tested using two proteins. PMID:22691798

  9. Life in the fast lane for protein crystallization and X-ray crystallography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Liu, Zhi-Jie; Tempel, Wolfram; Praissman, Jeremy; Lin, Dawei; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Gavira, Jose A.; Ng, Joseph D.

    2005-01-01

    The common goal for structural genomic centers and consortiums is to decipher as quickly as possible the three-dimensional structures for a multitude of recombinant proteins derived from known genomic sequences. Since X-ray crystallography is the foremost method to acquire atomic resolution for macromolecules, the limiting step is obtaining protein crystals that can be useful of structure determination. High-throughput methods have been developed in recent years to clone, express, purify, crystallize and determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein gene product rapidly using automated devices, commercialized kits and consolidated protocols. However, the average number of protein structures obtained for most structural genomic groups has been very low compared to the total number of proteins purified. As more entire genomic sequences are obtained for different organisms from the three kingdoms of life, only the proteins that can be crystallized and whose structures can be obtained easily are studied. Consequently, an astonishing number of genomic proteins remain unexamined. In the era of high-throughput processes, traditional methods in molecular biology, protein chemistry and crystallization are eclipsed by automation and pipeline practices. The necessity for high-rate production of protein crystals and structures has prevented the usage of more intellectual strategies and creative approaches in experimental executions. Fundamental principles and personal experiences in protein chemistry and crystallization are minimally exploited only to obtain "low-hanging fruit" protein structures. We review the practical aspects of today's high-throughput manipulations and discuss the challenges in fast pace protein crystallization and tools for crystallography. Structural genomic pipelines can be improved with information gained from low-throughput tactics that may help us reach the higher-bearing fruits. Examples of recent developments in this area are reported from

  10. Life in the Fast Lane for Protein Crystallization and X-Ray Crystallography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Liu, Zhi-Jie; Tempel, Wolfram; Praissman, Jeremy; Lin, Dawei; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Gavira, Jose A.; Ng, Joseph D.

    2004-01-01

    The common goal for structural genomic centers and consortiums is to decipher as quickly as possible the three-dimensional structures for a multitude of recombinant proteins derived from known genomic sequences. Since X-ray crystallography is the foremost method to acquire atomic resolution for macromolecules, the limiting step is obtaining protein crystals that can be useful of structure determination. High-throughput methods have been developed in recent years to clone, express, purify, crystallize and determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein gene product rapidly using automated devices, commercialized kits and consolidated protocols. However, the average number of protein structures obtained for most structural genomic groups has been very low compared to the total number of proteins purified. As more entire genomic sequences are obtained for different organisms from the three kingdoms of life, only the proteins that can be crystallized and whose structures can be obtained easily are studied. Consequently, an astonishing number of genomic proteins remain unexamined. In the era of high-throughput processes, traditional methods in molecular biology, protein chemistry and crystallization are eclipsed by automation and pipeline practices. The necessity for high rate production of protein crystals and structures has prevented the usage of more intellectual strategies and creative approaches in experimental executions. Fundamental principles and personal experiences in protein chemistry and crystallization are minimally exploited only to obtain "low-hanging fruit" protein structures. We review the practical aspects of today s high-throughput manipulations and discuss the challenges in fast pace protein crystallization and tools for crystallography. Structural genomic pipelines can be improved with information gained from low-throughput tactics that may help us reach the higher-bearing fruits. Examples of recent developments in this area are reported from

  11. Life in the fast lane for protein crystallization and X-ray crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Pusey, Marc L.; Liu, Zhi-Jie; Tempel, Wolfram; Praissman, Jeremy; Lin, Dawei; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Gavira, Jose A.; Ng, Joseph D.

    2010-07-20

    The common goal for structural genomic centers and consortiums is to decipher as quickly as possible the three-dimensional structures for a multitude of recombinant proteins derived from known genomic sequences. Since X-ray crystallography is the foremost method to acquire atomic resolution for macromolecules, the limiting step is obtaining protein crystals that can be useful of structure determination. High-throughput methods have been developed in recent years to clone, express, purify, crystallize and determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein gene product rapidly using automated devices, commercialized kits and consolidated protocols. However, the average number of protein structures obtained for most structural genomic groups has been very low compared to the total number of proteins purified. As more entire genomic sequences are obtained for different organisms from the three kingdoms of life, only the proteins that can be crystallized and whose structures can be obtained easily are studied. Consequently, an astonishing number of genomic proteins remain unexamined. In the era of high-throughput processes, traditional methods in molecular biology, protein chemistry and crystallization are eclipsed by automation and pipeline practices. The necessity for high-rate production of protein crystals and structures has prevented the usage of more intellectual strategies and creative approaches in experimental executions. Fundamental principles and personal experiences in protein chemistry and crystallization are minimally exploited only to obtain 'low-hanging fruit' protein structures. We review the practical aspects of today's high-throughput manipulations and discuss the challenges in fast pace protein crystallization and tools for crystallography. Structural genomic pipelines can be improved with information gained from low-throughput tactics that may help us reach the higher-bearing fruits. Examples of recent developments in this area are reported from

  12. Can radiation damage to protein crystals be reduced using small-molecule compounds?

    SciTech Connect

    Kmetko, Jan; Warkentin, Matthew; Englich, Ulrich; Thorne, Robert E.

    2011-10-01

    Free-radical scavengers that are known to be effective protectors of proteins in solution are found to increase global radiation damage to protein crystals. Protective mechanisms may become deleterious in the protein-dense environment of a crystal. Recent studies have defined a data-collection protocol and a metric that provide a robust measure of global radiation damage to protein crystals. Using this protocol and metric, 19 small-molecule compounds (introduced either by cocrystallization or soaking) were evaluated for their ability to protect lysozyme crystals from radiation damage. The compounds were selected based upon their ability to interact with radiolytic products (e.g. hydrated electrons, hydrogen, hydroxyl and perhydroxyl radicals) and/or their efficacy in protecting biological molecules from radiation damage in dilute aqueous solutions. At room temperature, 12 compounds had no effect and six had a sensitizing effect on global damage. Only one compound, sodium nitrate, appeared to extend crystal lifetimes, but not in all proteins and only by a factor of two or less. No compound provided protection at T = 100 K. Scavengers are ineffective in protecting protein crystals from global damage because a large fraction of primary X-ray-induced excitations are generated in and/or directly attack the protein and because the ratio of scavenger molecules to protein molecules is too small to provide appreciable competitive protection. The same reactivity that makes some scavengers effective radioprotectors in protein solutions may explain their sensitizing effect in the protein-dense environment of a crystal. A more productive focus for future efforts may be to identify and eliminate sensitizing compounds from crystallization solutions.

  13. Cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of macrophage growth locus A (MglA) protein from Francisella tularensis

    SciTech Connect

    Subburaman, P.; Austin, B.P.; Shaw, G.X.; Waugh, D.S.; Ji, X.

    2010-11-03

    Francisella tularensis, a potential bioweapon, causes a rare infectious disease called tularemia in humans and animals. The macrophage growth locus A (MglA) protein from F. tularensis associates with RNA polymerase to positively regulate the expression of multiple virulence factors that are required for its survival and replication within macrophages. The MglA protein was overproduced in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized. The crystals diffracted to 7.5 {angstrom} resolution at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory and belonged to the hexagonal space group P6{sub 1} or P6{sub 5}, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 125, c = 54 {angstrom}.

  14. Advances in the development of piezoelectric quartz-crystal oscillators, hydrogen masers, and superconducting frequency standards

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suter, Joseph J.

    1988-01-01

    This paper describes recent research advances made in the development of radiation-hardened piezoelectric quartz oscillators, hydrogen masers, and superconducting oscillators, with emphasis placed on the principles involved in the operation of these oscillators and the factors affecting the operation. Particular attention is given to the radiation-susceptibility studies of quartz-crystal resonators, the hydrogen-maser relaxation process and noise sources, and low-phase-noise superconducting oscillators. Diagrams of these devices and performance graphs are included.

  15. 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

  16. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of merohedrally twinned crystals of MJ0729, a CBS-domain protein from Methanococcus jannaschii

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Millán, Pablo; Kortazar, Danel; Lucas, María; Martínez-Chantar, María Luz; Astigarraga, Egoitz; Fernández, José Andrés; Sabas, Olatz; Albert, Armando; Mato, Jose M.; Martínez-Cruz, Luis Alfonso

    2008-01-01

    CBS domains are small protein motifs, usually associated in tandem, that are implicated in binding to adenosyl groups. Several genetic diseases in humans have been associated with mutations in CBS sequences, which has made them very promising targets for rational drug design. Trigonal crystals of the CBS-domain protein MJ0729 from Methanococcus jannaschii were grown by the vapour-diffusion method at acidic pH. Preliminary analysis of nine X-ray diffraction data sets using Yeates statistics and Britton plots showed that slight variation in the pH as well as in the buffer used in the crystallization experiments led to crystals with different degrees of merohedral twinning that may vary from perfect hemihedral twinning to perfect tetartohedral twinning. PMID:18607087

  17. Roles of Electrostatics and Conformation in Protein-Crystal Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Azzopardi, Paul V.; O'Young, Jason; Lajoie, Gilles; Karttunen, Mikko; Goldberg, Harvey A.; Hunter, Graeme K.

    2010-01-01

    In vitro studies have shown that the phosphoprotein osteopontin (OPN) inhibits the nucleation and growth of hydroxyapatite (HA) and other biominerals. In vivo, OPN is believed to prevent the calcification of soft tissues. However, the nature of the interaction between OPN and HA is not understood. In the computational part of the present study, we used molecular dynamics simulations to predict the adsorption of 19 peptides, each 16 amino acids long and collectively covering the entire sequence of OPN, to the {100} face of HA. This analysis showed that there is an inverse relationship between predicted strength of adsorption and peptide isoelectric point (P<0.0001). Analysis of the OPN sequence by PONDR (Predictor of Naturally Disordered Regions) indicated that OPN sequences predicted to adsorb well to HA are highly disordered. In the experimental part of the study, we synthesized phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated peptides corresponding to OPN sequences 65–80 (pSHDHMDDDDDDDDDGD) and 220–235 (pSHEpSTEQSDAIDpSAEK). In agreement with the PONDR analysis, these were shown by circular dichroism spectroscopy to be largely disordered. A constant-composition/seeded growth assay was used to assess the HA-inhibiting potencies of the synthetic peptides. The phosphorylated versions of OPN65-80 (IC50 = 1.93 µg/ml) and OPN220-235 (IC50 = 1.48 µg/ml) are potent inhibitors of HA growth, as is the nonphosphorylated version of OPN65-80 (IC50 = 2.97 µg/ml); the nonphosphorylated version of OPN220-235 has no measurable inhibitory activity. These findings suggest that the adsorption of acidic proteins to Ca2+-rich crystal faces of biominerals is governed by electrostatics and is facilitated by conformational flexibility of the polypeptide chain. PMID:20174473

  18. Monoolein lipid phases as incorporation and enrichment materials for membrane protein crystallization.

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, E.; Dranow, D.; Laible, P. D.; Christensen, J.; Nollert, P.

    2011-01-01

    The crystallization of membrane proteins in amphiphile-rich materials such as lipidic cubic phases is an established methodology in many structural biology laboratories. The standard procedure employed with this methodology requires the generation of a highly viscous lipidic material by mixing lipid, for instance monoolein, with a solution of the detergent solubilized membrane protein. This preparation is often carried out with specialized mixing tools that allow handling of the highly viscous materials while minimizing dead volume to save precious membrane protein sample. The processes that occur during the initial mixing of the lipid with the membrane protein are not well understood. Here we show that the formation of the lipidic phases and the incorporation of the membrane protein into such materials can be separated experimentally. Specifically, we have investigated the effect of different initial monoolein-based lipid phase states on the crystallization behavior of the colored photosynthetic reaction center from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. We find that the detergent solubilized photosynthetic reaction center spontaneously inserts into and concentrates in the lipid matrix without any mixing, and that the initial lipid material phase state is irrelevant for productive crystallization. A substantial in-situ enrichment of the membrane protein to concentration levels that are otherwise unobtainable occurs in a thin layer on the surface of the lipidic material. These results have important practical applications and hence we suggest a simplified protocol for membrane protein crystallization within amphiphile rich materials, eliminating any specialized mixing tools to prepare crystallization experiments within lipidic cubic phases. Furthermore, by virtue of sampling a membrane protein concentration gradient within a single crystallization experiment, this crystallization technique is more robust and increases the efficiency of identifying productive crystallization

  19. The liquid protein phase in crystallization: a case study—intact immunoglobulins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsov, Yurii G.; Malkin, Alexander J.; McPherson, Alexander

    2001-11-01

    A common observation by protein chemists has been the appearance, for many proteins in aqueous solutions, of oil like droplets, or in more extreme cases the formation of a second oil like phase. These may accompany the formation of precipitate in "salting out" or "salting in' procedures, but more commonly appear in place of any precipitate. Such phase separations also occur, with even greater frequency, in the presence of polymeric precipitants such as polyethyleneglycol (PEG). In general the appearance of a second liquid phase has been taken as indicative of protein aggregation, though an aggregate state distinctly different from that characteristic of amorphous precipitate. While the latter is thought to be composed of linear and branched assemblies, polymers of a sort, the oil phase suggests a more compact, three-dimensional, but fluid state. An important property of an alternate, fluid phase is that it can mediate transitions between other states, for example, between protein molecules free in solution and protein molecules immobilized in amorphous precipitate or crystals. The "liquid protein" phase can be readily observed in many crystallization experiments either prior to the appearance of visible crystals, or directly participating in the crystal growth process. In some cases the relationship between the liquid phase and developing crystals is intimate. Crystals grow directly from the liquid phase, or appear only after the visible formation of the liquid phase. We describe here our experience with a class of macromolecules, immunoglobulins, and particularly IDEC-151, an IgG specific for CD4 on human lymphocytes. This protein has been crystallized from a Jeffamine-LiSO 4 mother liquor and, its crystallization illustrates many of the features associated with the liquid protein, or protein rich phase.

  20. Towards protein-crystal centering using second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Kissick, David J.; Dettmar, Christopher M.; Becker, Michael; Mulichak, Anne M.; Cherezov, Vadim; Ginell, Stephan L.; Battaile, Kevin P.; Keefe, Lisa J.; Fischetti, Robert F.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2013-05-01

    The potential of second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy for automated crystal centering to guide synchrotron X-ray diffraction of protein crystals has been explored. The potential of second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy for automated crystal centering to guide synchrotron X-ray diffraction of protein crystals was explored. These studies included (i) comparison of microcrystal positions in cryoloops as determined by SHG imaging and by X-ray diffraction rastering and (ii) X-ray structure determinations of selected proteins to investigate the potential for laser-induced damage from SHG imaging. In studies using β{sub 2} adrenergic receptor membrane-protein crystals prepared in lipidic mesophase, the crystal locations identified by SHG images obtained in transmission mode were found to correlate well with the crystal locations identified by raster scanning using an X-ray minibeam. SHG imaging was found to provide about 2 µm spatial resolution and shorter image-acquisition times. The general insensitivity of SHG images to optical scatter enabled the reliable identification of microcrystals within opaque cryocooled lipidic mesophases that were not identified by conventional bright-field imaging. The potential impact of extended exposure of protein crystals to five times a typical imaging dose from an ultrafast laser source was also assessed. Measurements of myoglobin and thaumatin crystals resulted in no statistically significant differences between structures obtained from diffraction data acquired from exposed and unexposed regions of single crystals. Practical constraints for integrating SHG imaging into an active beamline for routine automated crystal centering are discussed.

  1. Can radiation damage to protein crystals be reduced using small-molecule compounds?

    PubMed Central

    Kmetko, Jan; Warkentin, Matthew; Englich, Ulrich; Thorne, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have defined a data-collection protocol and a metric that provide a robust measure of global radiation damage to protein crystals. Using this protocol and metric, 19 small-molecule compounds (introduced either by cocrystalliz­ation or soaking) were evaluated for their ability to protect lysozyme crystals from radiation damage. The compounds were selected based upon their ability to interact with radiolytic products (e.g. hydrated electrons, hydrogen, hydroxyl and perhydroxyl radicals) and/or their efficacy in protecting biological molecules from radiation damage in dilute aqueous solutions. At room temperature, 12 compounds had no effect and six had a sensitizing effect on global damage. Only one compound, sodium nitrate, appeared to extend crystal lifetimes, but not in all proteins and only by a factor of two or less. No compound provided protection at T = 100 K. Scavengers are ineffective in protecting protein crystals from global damage because a large fraction of primary X-ray-induced excitations are generated in and/or directly attack the protein and because the ratio of scavenger molecules to protein molecules is too small to provide appreciable competitive protection. The same reactivity that makes some scavengers effective radioprotectors in protein solutions may explain their sensitizing effect in the protein-dense environment of a crystal. A more productive focus for future efforts may be to identify and eliminate sensitizing compounds from crystallization solutions. PMID:21931220

  2. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the cellulose biosynthesis-related protein CMCax from Acetobacter xylinum

    SciTech Connect

    Kawano, Shin; Yasutake, Yoshiaki; Tajima, Kenji; Satoh, Yasuharu; Yao, Min Tanaka, Isao; Munekata, Masanobu

    2005-02-01

    The cellulose biosynthesis-related protein CMCax from A. xylinum has been purified and crystallized. The crystals of CMCax belong to the primitive hexagonal space group P6{sub 1} or P6{sub 5}, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 89.1, c = 94.2 Å.

  3. Calcium Distribution in Globoid Crystals of Cucurbita Cotyledon Protein Bodies 1

    PubMed Central

    Lott, John N. A.; Spitzer, Ernest; Vollmer, Catherine M.

    1979-01-01

    Energy-dispersive x-ray analysis was used to investigate the location of globoid crystals with relatively high Ca levels within cotyledons of Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita andreana. The small globoid crystals in both upper and lower epidermal cells commonly contained Ca. Ca was present in globoid crystals of all provascular regions with the exception of the very small provascular regions of C. maxima. In C. maxima and C. mixta cotyledons, some cases were observed where Ca was found in the globoid crystals of the first layer of mesophyll cells surrounding the provascular region, but in general Ca was absent from globoid crystals of palisade and spongy mesophyll cells. In C. andreana, globoid crystals of palisade and spongy mesophyll cells commonly contained at least some Ca. Cell position and cell type are factors affecting the Ca content of globoid crystals in protein bodies. PMID:16660825

  4. Microseed matrix screening for optimization in protein crystallization: what have we learned?

    PubMed Central

    D’Arcy, Allan; Bergfors, Terese; Cowan-Jacob, Sandra W.; Marsh, May

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystals obtained in initial screens typically require optimization before they are of X-ray diffraction quality. Seeding is one such optimization method. In classical seeding experiments, the seed crystals are put into new, albeit similar, conditions. The past decade has seen the emergence of an alternative seeding strategy: microseed matrix screening (MMS). In this strategy, the seed crystals are transferred into conditions unrelated to the seed source. Examples of MMS applications from in-house projects and the literature include the generation of multiple crystal forms and different space groups, better diffracting crystals and crystallization of previously uncrystallizable targets. MMS can be implemented robotically, making it a viable option for drug-discovery programs. In conclusion, MMS is a simple, time- and cost-efficient optimization method that is applicable to many recalcitrant crystallization problems. PMID:25195878

  5. Current trends in α-helical membrane protein crystallization: An update

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Joanne L; Newstead, Simon

    2012-01-01

    α-Helical membrane proteins (MPs) are the targets for many pharmaceutical drugs and play important roles in human physiology. In recent years, significant progress has been made in determining their atomic structure using X-ray crystallography. However, a major bottleneck in MP crystallography still remains, namely, the identification of conditions that give crystals that are suitable for structural determination. In 2008, we undertook an analysis of the crystallization conditions for 121 α-helical MPs to design a rationalized sparse matrix crystallization screen, MemGold. We now report an updated analysis that includes a further 133 conditions. The results reveal the current trends in α-helical MP crystallization with notable differences since 2008. The updated information has been used to design new crystallization and additive screens that should prove useful for both initial crystallization scouting and subsequent crystal optimization. PMID:22811290

  6. Utilisation of adsorption and desorption for simultaneously improving protein crystallisation success rate and crystal quality.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yun-Zhu; Sun, Li-Hua; Oberthuer, Dominik; Zhang, Chen-Yan; Shi, Jian-Yu; Di, Jiang-Lei; Zhang, Bao-Liang; Cao, Hui-Ling; Liu, Yong-Ming; Li, Jian; Wang, Qian; Huang, Huan-Huan; Liu, Jun; Schulz, Jan-Mirco; Zhang, Qiu-Yu; Zhao, Jian-Lin; Betzel, Christian; He, Jian-Hua; Yin, Da-Chuan

    2014-01-01

    High-quality protein crystals of suitable size are an important prerequisite for applying X-ray crystallography to determine the 3-dimensional structure of proteins. However, it is often difficult to obtain protein crystals of appropriate size and quality because nucleation and growth processes can be unsuccessful. Here, we show that by adsorbing proteins onto porous polystyrene-divinylbenzene microspheres (SDB) floating on the surface of the crystallisation solution, a localised high supersaturation region at the surface of the microspheres and a low supersaturation region below the microspheres can coexist in a single solution. The crystals will easily nucleate in the region of high supersaturation, but when they grow to a certain size, they will sediment to the region of low supersaturation and continue to grow. In this way, the probability of crystallisation and crystal quality can be simultaneously increased in a single solution without changing other crystallisation parameters. PMID:25471817

  7. Protein-Precipitant-Specific Criteria for the Impact of Reduced Gravity on Crystal Perfection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilov, Peter G.; Witherow, W. (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide quantitative criteria for the impact of reduced or enhanced convective transport on protein crystal perfection. Our earlier work strongly suggests that the magnitude of (lattice defect-inducing) fluctuations in the crystallization rate of proteins arise from the coupling of bulk transport and nonlinear interface kinetics. Hence, we surmised that, depending on the relative weight of bulk transport and interface kinetics in the control of the crystallization process on Earth, these fluctuations can either increase or decrease under reduced gravity conditions. The sign and magnitude of these changes depend on the specific protein-precipitant system. As a consequence, space environments can be either beneficial or detrimental for achieving structural perfection in protein crystals. The task objectives consist in systematic investigations of this hypothesis.

  8. Enhancement of crystal homogeneity of protein crystals under application of an external alternating current electric field

    SciTech Connect

    Koizumi, H.; Uda, S.; Fujiwara, K.; Nozawa, J.; Tachibana, M.; Kojima, K.

    2014-10-06

    X-ray diffraction rocking-curve measurements were performed on tetragonal hen egg white (HEW) lysozyme crystals grown with and without the application of an external alternating current (AC) electric field. The crystal quality was assessed by the full width at half maximum (FWHM) value for each rocking curve. For two-dimensional maps of the FWHMs measured on the 440 and the 12 12 0 reflection, the crystal homogeneity was improved under application of an external electric field at 1 MHz, compared with that without. In particular, the significant improvement of the crystal homogeneity was observed for the 12 12 0 reflection.

  9. Crystallization Process of Protein Rv0731c from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis for a Successful Atomic Resolution Crystal Structure at 1.2 Angstrom

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Liang Cong

    2009-06-08

    Proteins are bio-macromolecules consisting of basic 20 amino acids and have distinct three-dimensional folds. They are essential parts of organisms and participate in every process within cells. Proteins are crucial for human life, and each protein within the body has a specific function, such as antibodies, contractile proteins, enzymes, hormonal proteins, structural proteins, storage proteins and transport proteins. Determining three-dimensional structure of a protein can help researchers discover the remarkable protein folding, binding site, conformation and etc, in order to understand well of protein interaction and aid for possible drug design. The research on protein structure by X-ray protein crystallography carried by Li-Wei Hung's research group in the Physical Bioscience Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is focusing on protein crystallography. The research in this lab is in the process of from crystallizing the proteins to determining the three dimensional crystal structures of proteins. Most protein targets are selected from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. TB (Tuberculosis) is a possible fatal infectious disease. By studying TB target protein can help discover antituberculer drugs, and find treatment for TB. The high-throughput mode of crystallization, crystal harvesting, crystal screening and data collection are applied to the research pipeline (Figure 1). The X-ray diffraction data by protein crystals can be processed and analyzed to result in a three dimensional representation of electron density, producing a detailed model of protein structure. Rv0731c is a conserved hypothetical protein with unknown function from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. This paper is going to report the crystallization process and brief structure information of Rv0731c.

  10. Protein crystal quality in diffusive environments and its evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Jaramillo, F. J.; Otálora, F.; Gavira, J. A.

    2003-01-01

    We have analyzed the crystal quality along a capillary by a precise protocol that comprises the study of tetragonal lysozyme cylindrical crystals that fill the capillary diameter (i.e. rods), the careful definition of the diffraction parameters and the use of a single software for the data reduction in order to avoid any bias in the comparison of the quality of different data sets. Our results cannot be explained on the basis of the different redundancy of the data sets and they demonstrate that the gel acupuncture method promotes a gradient of supersaturation along the capillary that yields in the same experiment crystals of increasing quality as a function of the position. However, despite being single crystals, rods have regions that show different crystal quality because they grew at different supersaturations. Our data are in agreement with the existence of a relation between length of the c-axis and crystal quality reported by other groups, but a deeper analysis of the cell parameters reveals the existence of a significant linear relation ( R=0.87) with the c/ a-axis ratio. This result points to the hypothesis of an ideal unit cell that yields the best crystals in terms of I/ σ( I).

  11. Crystal structure of prokaryotic ribosomal protein L9: a bi-lobed RNA-binding protein.

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, D W; Davies, C; Gerchman, S E; Kycia, J H; Porter, S J; White, S W; Ramakrishnan, V

    1994-01-01

    The crystal structure of protein L9 from the Bacillus stearothermophilus ribosome has been determined at 2.8 A resolution using X-ray diffraction methods. This primary RNA-binding protein has a highly elongated and unusual structure consisting of two separated domains joined by a long exposed alpha-helix. Conserved, positively charged and aromatic amino acids on the surfaces of both domains probably represent the sites of specific interactions with 23S rRNA. Comparisons with other prokaryotic L9 sequences show that while the length of the connecting alpha-helix is invariant, the sequence within the exposed central region is not conserved. This suggests that the alpha-helix has an architectural role and serves to fix the relative separation and orientation of the N- and C-terminal domains within the ribosome. The N-terminal domain has structural homology to the smaller ribosomal proteins L7/L12 and L30, and the eukaryotic RNA recognition motif (RRM). Images PMID:8306963

  12. Study of Fluid Flow Control in Protein Crystallization using Strong Magnetic Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, Narayanan; Leslie, Fred; Ciszak, Ewa

    2002-01-01

    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 biochemists, 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 the 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", researchers have been able to dramatically affect the movement and distribution of macromolecules in the fluid, and thus their transport, formation 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. Whether this limited convection in a magnetic field will provide the environment for the growth of high quality crystals is still a matter of conjecture that our research will address. The approach exploits the variation of fluid magnetic susceptibility with concentration for this purpose and the convective damping is realized by appropriately

  13. The good, the bad and the twisted: a survey of ligand geometry in protein crystal structures.

    PubMed

    Liebeschuetz, John; Hennemann, Jana; Olsson, Tjelvar; Groom, Colin R

    2012-02-01

    The protein databank now contains the structures of over 11,000 ligands bound to proteins. These structures are invaluable in applied areas such as structure-based drug design, but are also the substrate for understanding the energetics of intermolecular interactions with proteins. Despite their obvious importance, the careful analysis of ligands bound to protein structures lags behind the analysis of the protein structures themselves. We present an analysis of the geometry of ligands bound to proteins and highlight the role of small molecule crystal structures in enabling molecular modellers to critically evaluate a ligand model's quality and investigate protein-induced strain. PMID:22246295

  14. [Recent advances in the techniques of protein-protein interaction study].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ming-Qiang; Wu, Jin-Xia; Zhang, Yu-Hong; Han, Ning; Bian, Hong-Wu; Zhu, Mu-Yuan

    2013-11-01

    Protein-protein interactions play key roles in the development of organisms and the response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Several wet-lab methods have been developed to study this challenging area,including yeast two-hybrid system, tandem affinity purification, Co-immunoprecipitation, GST Pull-down, bimolecular fluorescence complementation, fluorescence resonance energy transfer and surface plasmon resonance analysis. In this review, we discuss theoretical principles and relative advantages and disvantages of these techniques,with an emphasis on recent advances to compensate for limitations. PMID:24579310

  15. Advances in the growth of alkaline-earth halide single crystals for scintillator detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Boatner, Lynn A; Ramey, Joanne Oxendine; Kolopus, James A; Neal, John S; Cherepy, Nerine; Payne, Stephen A.; Beck, P; Burger, Arnold; Rowe, E; Bhattacharya, P.

    2014-01-01

    Alkaline-earth scintillators such as strontium iodide and other alkaline-earth halides activated with divalent europium represent some of the most efficient and highest energy resolution scintillators for use as gamma-ray detectors in a wide range of applications. These applications include the areas of nuclear nonproliferation, homeland security, the detection of undeclared nuclear material, nuclear physics and materials science, medical diagnostics, space physics, high energy physics, and radiation monitoring systems for first responders, police, and fire/rescue personnel. Recent advances in the growth of large single crystals of these scintillator materials hold the promise of higher crystal yields and significantly lower detector production costs. In the present work, we describe new processing protocols that, when combined with our molten salt filtration methods, have led to advances in achieving a significant reduction of cracking effects during the growth of single crystals of SrI2:Eu2+. In particular, we have found that extended pumping on the molten crystal-growth charge under vacuum for time periods extending up to 48 hours is generally beneficial in compensating for variations in the alkaline-earth halide purity and stoichiometry of the materials as initially supplied by commercial sources. These melt-pumping and processing techniques are now being applied to the purification of CaI2:Eu2+ and some mixed-anion europium-doped alkaline-earth halides prior to single-crystal growth by means of the vertical Bridgman technique. The results of initial studies of the effects of aliovalent doping of SrI2:Eu2+ on the scintillation characteristics of this material are also described.

  16. Step and Kink Dynamics in Inorganic and Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.; Rashkovich, L. N.; Vekilov, P. G.; DeYoreo, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    Behavior of low-kink-density steps in solution growth and consequences for general understanding of spiral crystal growth processes will be overviewed. Also, influence of turbulence on step bunching and possibility to diminish this bunching will be presented.

  17. Large scale crystallization of protein pharmaceuticals in microgravity via temperature change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Long, Marianna M.

    1992-01-01

    The major objective of this research effort is the temperature driven growth of protein crystals in large batches in the microgravity environment of space. Pharmaceutical houses are developing protein products for patient care, for example, human insulin, human growth hormone, interferons, and tissue plasminogen activator or TPA, the clot buster for heart attack victims. Except for insulin, these are very high value products; they are extremely potent in small quantities and have a great value per gram of material. It is feasible that microgravity crystallization can be a cost recoverable, economically sound final processing step in their manufacture. Large scale protein crystal growth in microgravity has significant advantages from the basic science and the applied science standpoints. Crystal growth can proceed unhindered due to lack of surface effects. Dynamic control is possible and relatively easy. The method has the potential to yield large quantities of pure crystalline product. Crystallization is a time honored procedure for purifying organic materials and microgravity crystallization could be the final step to remove trace impurities from high value protein pharmaceuticals. In addition, microgravity grown crystals could be the final formulation for those medicines that need to be administered in a timed release fashion. Long lasting insulin, insulin lente, is such a product. Also crystalline protein pharmaceuticals are more stable for long-term storage. Temperature, as the initiation step, has certain advantages. Again, dynamic control of the crystallization process is possible and easy. A temperature step is non-invasive and is the most subtle way to control protein solubility and therefore crystallization. Seeding is not necessary. Changes in protein and precipitant concentrations and pH are not necessary. Finally, this method represents a new way to crystallize proteins in space that takes advantage of the unique microgravity environment. The results

  18. Protein crystallization aboard the Space Shuttle and the Mir space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delbaere, Louis T. J.; Vandonselaar, Margaret; Prasad, Lata; Quail, J. W.; Birnbaum, George I.; Delucas, Lawrence J.; Moore, Karen; Bugg, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    Two different protein crystallizations, namely ,the free Fab fragment of the Je142 monoclonal antibody and the complex of Fab fragment/HPr with antigen, were performed aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle flights and the Mir space station, respectively. Medium sized crystals of the Je142 Fab fragment were obtained. The Je142 Fab fragment/Hpr complex produced two medium-sized crystals after two months aboard the Mir space station. Microgravity was found to eliminate the tendency of these crystals to form clusters.

  19. Protein crystal growth aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle flights STS-31 and STS-32

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Smith, Craig D.; Carter, Daniel C.; Twigg, Pam; He, Xiao-Min; Snyder, Robert S.; Weber, Patricia C.; Schloss, J. V.; Einspahr, H. M.; Clancy, L. L.

    1992-01-01

    Results obtained from the Shuttle flight STS-32 flown in January 1990, and preliminary results from the most recent Shuttle flight, STS-31, flown in April 1990, are presented. Crystals grown in microgravity environment include Canavalin, isocitrate lyase, human serum albumin, and Anti-HPr Fab. It is concluded that about 20 percent of proteins flown exhibit better morphologies or better quality data than their earth-grown counterparts. About 40 percent do not yield crystals at all and the remaining 40 percent yield crystals that are either too small for X-ray analysis or produce data of poorer quality than the best earth-grown crystals.

  20. Study of Fluid Flow Control In Protein Crystallization Using Strong Magnetic Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, N.; Leslie, F.; Ciszak, E.; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    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 biochemists, 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 the 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', researchers have been able to dramatically affect the movement and distribution of macromolecules in the fluid, and thus their transport, formation 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. Whether this limited convection in a magnetic field will provide the environment for the growth of high quality crystals is still a matter of conjecture that our research will address. The approach exploits the variation of fluid magnetic susceptibility with concentration for this purpose and the convective damping is realized by appropriately

  1. Cleaved thioredoxin fusion protein enables the crystallization of poorly soluble ERα in complex with synthetic ligands

    PubMed Central

    Cura, Vincent; Gangloff, Monique; Eiler, Sylvia; Moras, Dino; Ruff, Marc

    2008-01-01

    The ligand-binding domain (LBD) of human oestrogen receptor α was produced in Escherichia coli as a cleavable thioredoxin (Trx) fusion in order to improve solubility. Crystallization trials with either cleaved and purified LBD or with the purified fusion protein both failed to produce crystals. In another attempt, Trx was not removed from the LBD after endoproteolytic cleavage and its presence promoted nucleation and subsequent crystal growth, which allowed the structure determination of two different LBD–ligand–coactivator peptide complexes at 2.3 Å resolution. This technique is likely to be applicable to other low-solubility proteins. PMID:18097104

  2. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the plant Rho protein ROP5

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Christoph Berken, Antje

    2007-12-01

    Crystals of the plant Rho protein ROP5 from A. thaliana have been obtained that diffract to 1.53 Å resolution. The small G protein ROP5 from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana was purified and crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. ROP5 crystals were obtained using PEG 3000 as precipitant and belong to space group P2{sub 1}. A data set was collected to 1.53 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation at 100 K. A clear molecular-replacement solution was found using ROP4–GDP of the ROP4–GDP–PRONE8 complex as the search model.

  3. Crystallization of DIR1, a LTP2-like resistance signalling protein from Arabidopsis thaliana

    SciTech Connect

    Lascombe, Marie-Bernard; Buhot, Nathalie; Bakan, Bénédicte; Marion, Didier; Blein, Jean Pierre; Lamb, Chris J.; Prangé, Thierry

    2006-07-01

    DIR1, a putative LTP2 protein from Arabidopsis thaliana implicated in systemic acquired resistance in planta, has been crystallized in space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1} with one molecule per asymmetric unit. DIR1, a putative LTP2 protein from Arabidopsis thaliana implicated in systemic acquired resistance in planta, has been crystallized in space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1} with one molecule per asymmetric unit. The crystals diffract to a resolution of 1.6 Å.

  4. Crystallization of Ranasmurfin, a blue-coloured protein from Polypedates leucomystax

    SciTech Connect

    McMahon, Stephen A.; Walsh, Martin A.; Ching, Rosalind Tan Yan; Carter, Lester G.; Dorward, Mark; Johnson, Kenneth A.; Liu, Huanting; Oke, Muse; Bloch, Carlos Jr; Kennedy, Malcolm W.; Latiff, Aishah A.; Cooper, Alan; Taylor, Garry L.; White, Malcolm F.; Naismith, James H.

    2006-11-01

    A novel blue protein from frog nests has been crystallized. Ranasmurfin, a previously uncharacterized ∼13 kDa blue protein found in the nests of the frog Polypedates leucomystax, has been purified and crystallized. The crystals are an intense blue colour and diffract to 1.51 Å with P2{sub 1} symmetry and unit-cell parameters a = 40.9, b = 59.9, c = 45.0 Å, β = 93.3°. Self-rotation function analysis indicates the presence of a dimer in the asymmetric unit. Biochemical data suggest that the blue colour of the protein is related to dimer formation. Sequence data for the protein are incomplete, but thus far have identified no model for molecular replacement. A fluorescence scan shows a peak at 9.676 keV, indicating that the protein binds zinc and suggesting a route for structure solution.

  5. Two-Dimensional Crystallization Procedure, from Protein Expression to Sample Preparation

    PubMed Central

    Kuang, Qie; Purhonen, Pasi; Hebert, Hans

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins play important roles for living cells. Structural studies of membrane proteins provide deeper understanding of their mechanisms and further aid in drug design. As compared to other methods, electron microscopy is uniquely suitable for analysis of a broad range of specimens, from small proteins to large complexes. Of various electron microscopic methods, electron crystallography is particularly well-suited to study membrane proteins which are reconstituted into two-dimensional crystals in lipid environments. In this review, we discuss the steps and parameters for obtaining large and well-ordered two-dimensional crystals. A general description of the principle in each step is provided since this information can also be applied to other biochemical and biophysical methods. The examples are taken from our own studies and published results with related proteins. Our purpose is to give readers a more general idea of electron crystallography and to share our experiences in obtaining suitable crystals for data collection. PMID:26413539

  6. In Vitro Calcite Crystal Morphology Is Modulated by Otoconial Proteins Otolin-1 and Otoconin-90

    PubMed Central

    Moreland, K. Trent; Hong, Mina; Lu, Wenfu; Rowley, Christopher W.; Ornitz, David M.; De Yoreo, James J.; Thalmann, Ruediger

    2014-01-01

    Otoconia are formed embryonically and are instrumental in detecting linear acceleration and gravity. Degeneration and fragmentation of otoconia in elderly patients leads to imbalance resulting in higher frequency of falls that are positively correlated with the incidence of bone fractures and death. In this work we investigate the roles otoconial proteins Otolin-1 and Otoconin 90 (OC90) perform in the formation of otoconia. We demonstrate by rotary shadowing and atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments that Otolin-1 forms homomeric protein complexes and self-assembled networks supporting the hypothesis that Otolin-1 serves as a scaffold protein of otoconia. Our calcium carbonate crystal growth data demonstrate that Otolin-1 and OC90 modulate in vitro calcite crystal morphology but neither protein is sufficient to produce the shape of otoconia. Coadministration of these proteins produces synergistic effects on crystal morphology that contribute to morphology resembling otoconia. PMID:24748133

  7. Bioanalytical advances in assays for C-reactive protein.

    PubMed

    Vashist, Sandeep Kumar; Venkatesh, A G; Marion Schneider, E; Beaudoin, Christopher; Luppa, Peter B; Luong, John H T

    2016-01-01

    This review presents advances in assays for human C-reactive protein (CRP), the most important biomarker of infection and inflammation for a plethora of diseases and pathophysiological conditions. Routine assays in clinical settings are based on analyzers, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and lateral flow assays. However, assays encompassing novel sensing schemes, improved chemistry, signal enhancement, lab-on-a-chip, microfluidics and smartphone detection, have emerged in recent years. The incorporation of immune-transducing chips or sensing interfaces with nanomaterials enables multiplexing analysis of CRP with co-existing biomarkers. However, there are still considerable challenges in the development of rapid diagnostics for both pentameric and monomeric CRP forms. PMID:26717866

  8. Red Fluorescent Proteins: Advanced Imaging Applications and Future Design

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Subach, Oksana M.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2015-01-01

    In the past few years a large series of the advanced red-shifted fluorescent proteins (RFPs) has been developed. These enhanced RFPs provide new possibilities to study biological processes at the levels ranging from single molecules to whole organisms. Herein the relationship between the properties of the RFPs of different phenotypes and their applications to various imaging techniques are described. Existing and emerging imaging approaches are discussed for conventional RFPs, far-red FPs, RFPs with a large Stokes shift, fluorescent timers, irreversibly photoactivatable and reversibly photo-switchable RFPs. Advantages and limitations of specific RFPs for each technique are presented. Recent progress in understanding the chemical transformations of red chromophores allows the future RFP phenotypes and their respective novel imaging applications to be foreseen. PMID:22851529

  9. Interaction of Tenebrio Molitor Antifreeze Protein with Ice Crystal: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Ramya, L; Ramakrishnan, Vigneshwar

    2016-07-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFP) observed in cold-adapting organisms bind to ice crystals and prevent further ice growth. However, the molecular mechanism of AFP-ice binding and AFP-inhibited ice growth remains unclear. Here we report the interaction of the insect antifreeze protein (Tenebrio molitor, TmAFP) with ice crystal by molecular dynamics simulation studies. Two sets of simulations were carried out at 263 K by placing the protein near the primary prism plane (PP) and basal plane (BL) of the ice crystal. To delineate the effect of temperatures, both the PP and BL simulations were carried out at 253 K as well. The analyses revealed that the protein interacts strongly with the ice crystal in BL simulation than in PP simulation both at 263 K and 253 K. Further, it was observed that the interactions are primarily mediated through the interface waters. We also observed that as the temperature decreases, the interaction between the protein and the ice increases which can be attributed to the decreased flexibility and the increased structuring of the protein at low temperature. In essence, our study has shed light on the interaction mechanism between the TmAFP antifreeze protein and the ice crystal. PMID:27492241

  10. Stability of Magnetically-Suppressed Solutal Convection In Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leslie, F. W.; Ramachandran, N.

    2005-01-01

    The effect of convection during the crystallization of proteins is not very well understood. In a gravitational field, convection is caused by crystal sedimentation and by solutal buoyancy induced flow and these can lead to crystal imperfections. While crystallization in microgravity can approach diffusion limited growth conditions (no convection), terrestrially strong magnetic fields can be used to control fluid flow and sedimentation effects. In this work, a theory is presented on the stability of solutal convection of a magnetized fluid in the presence of a magnetic field. The requirements for stability are developed and compared to experiments performed within the bore of a superconducting magnet. The theoretical predictions are in good agreement with the experiments and show solutal convection can be stabilized if the surrounding fluid has larger magnetic susceptibility and the magnetic field has a specific structure. Discussion on the application of the technique to protein crystallization is also provided.

  11. Protein crystallization in a 100 nl solution with new stirring equipment

    PubMed Central

    Maki, S.; Murai, R.; Yoshikawa, H. Y.; Kitatani, T.; Nakata, S.; Kawahara, H.; Hasenaka, H.; Kobayashi, A.; Okada, S.; Sugiyama, S.; Adachi, H.; Matsumura, H.; Takano, K.; Murakami, S.; Inoue, T.; Sasaki, T.; Mori, Y.

    2008-01-01

    To investigate quantitatively the effects of stirring on protein crystallization, a new stirring system which can agitate a protein solution, ∼100 nl, by providing Hagen–Poiseuille flow has been successfully developed. In addition, this new stirring system provides flow with a well defined pattern and velocity. Using this system, hen egg-white lysozyme was crystallized in 100–200 nl solutions while being stirred. The optimum stirring conditions for lysozyme crystals have been explored by evaluating the Reynolds (Re) number and the crystals obtained. Intermittent flow, as well as a low Re number, was found to contribute significantly to the growth of a smaller number of larger crystals. PMID:18421156

  12. Intercalating dyes for enhanced contrast in second-harmonic generation imaging of protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Newman, Justin A; Scarborough, Nicole M; Pogranichniy, Nicholas R; Shrestha, Rashmi K; Closser, Richard G; Das, Chittaranjan; Simpson, Garth J

    2015-07-01

    The second-harmonic generation (SHG) activity of protein crystals was found to be enhanced by up to ∼1000-fold by the intercalation of SHG phores within the crystal lattice. Unlike the intercalation of fluorophores, the SHG phores produced no significant background SHG from solvated dye or from dye intercalated into amorphous aggregates. The polarization-dependent SHG is consistent with the chromophores adopting the symmetry of the crystal lattice. In addition, the degree of enhancement for different symmetries of dyes is consistent with theoretical predictions based on the molecular nonlinear optical response. Kinetics studies indicate that intercalation arises over a timeframe of several minutes in lysozyme, with detectable enhancements within seconds. These results provide a potential means to increase the overall diversity of protein crystals and crystal sizes amenable to characterization by SHG microscopy. PMID:26143918

  13. Intercalating dyes for enhanced contrast in second-harmonic generation imaging of protein crystals

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Justin A.; Scarborough, Nicole M.; Pogranichniy, Nicholas R.; Shrestha, Rashmi K.; Closser, Richard G.; Das, Chittaranjan; Simpson, Garth J.

    2015-01-01

    The second-harmonic generation (SHG) activity of protein crystals was found to be enhanced by up to ∼1000-fold by the intercalation of SHG phores within the crystal lattice. Unlike the intercalation of fluorophores, the SHG phores produced no significant background SHG from solvated dye or from dye intercalated into amorphous aggregates. The polarization-dependent SHG is consistent with the chromophores adopting the symmetry of the crystal lattice. In addition, the degree of enhancement for different symmetries of dyes is consistent with theoretical predictions based on the molecular nonlinear optical response. Kinetics studies indicate that intercalation arises over a timeframe of several minutes in lysozyme, with detectable enhancements within seconds. These results provide a potential means to increase the overall diversity of protein crystals and crystal sizes amenable to characterization by SHG microscopy. PMID:26143918

  14. The Effect of Ionic Liquids on Protein Crystallization and X-ray Diffraction Resolution

    SciTech Connect

    Judge, Russell A.; Takahashi, Sumiko; Longenecker, Kenton L.; Fry, Elizabeth H.; Abad-Zapatero, Cele; Chiu, Mark L.

    2009-09-08

    Ionic liquids exhibit a variety of properties that make them attractive solvents for biomaterials. Given the potential for productive interaction between ionic liquids and biological macromolecules, we investigated the use of ionic liquids as precipitating agents and additives for protein crystallization for six model proteins (lysozyme, catalase, myoglobin, trypsin, glucose isomerase, and xylanase). The ionic liquids produced changes in crystal morphology and mediated significant increases in crystal size in some cases. Crystals grown using ionic liquids as precipitating agents or as additives provided X-ray diffraction resolution similar to or better than that obtained without ionic liquids. Based upon the experiments performed with model proteins, the ionic liquids were used as additives for the crystallization of the poorly diffracting monoclonal antibody 106.3 Fab in complex with the B-type natriuretic peptide (5-13). The ionic liquids improved the crystallization behavior and provided improved diffraction resulting in the determination of the structure. Ionic liquids should be considered as useful additives for the crystallization of other proteins.

  15. Modification of an apparatus for tumor-suppressor protein crystal growth in the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    Some human diseases as tumors are being studied continuously for the development of vaccines against them. And a way of doing that is by means of proteins research. There are some kinds of proteins, like the p53 and p73 proteins, which are tumor suppressors. There are other diseases such as A.I.D.S., hansenosis, the Parkinson's and Chagas' diseases which are protein-related. The determination of how proteins geometrically order themselves, during its biological functions is very necessary to understand how a protein's structure affects its function, to design vaccines that intercede in tumor-protein activities and in other proteins related to those other diseases. The protein crystal growth in microgravity environment produces purer crystallization than on the ground, and it is a powerful tool to produce better vaccines. Several data have already been acquired using ground-based research and in spaceflight experiments aboard the Spacelab and Space Shuttle missions, and in the MIR and in the International Space Station (ISS). Here in this paper, I propose to be performed in the ISS Biological Research Facility (which is being developed), multiple crystal growth of proteins related to cancer (as tumors suppressors and oncoproteins), A.I.D.S., hansenosis, the Parkinson's and Chagas' diseases, for the future obtaining of possible vaccines against them. I also propose a simple and practical equipment, a modification of the crystallization plates (which use a vapor diffusion technique) inside each cylinder of the Protein Crystallization Apparatus in Microgravity (PCAM), with multiple chambers with different sizes. Instead of using some chambers with the same size it is better to use several chambers with different sizes. Why is that? The answer is: the energy associated with the surface tension of the liquid in the chamber is directly related to the circle area of it. So, to minimize the total energy of the surface tension of a proteins liquid -making it more stable

  16. Improved Success of Sparse Matrix Protein Crystallization Screening with Heterogeneous Nucleating Agents

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Anil S.; Robin, Gautier; Guncar, Gregor; Saunders, Neil F. W.; Newman, Janet; Martin, Jennifer L.; Kobe, Bostjan

    2007-01-01

    Background Crystallization is a major bottleneck in the process of macromolecular structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Successful crystallization requires the formation of nuclei and their subsequent growth to crystals of suitable size. Crystal growth generally occurs spontaneously in a supersaturated solution as a result of homogenous nucleation. However, in a typical sparse matrix screening experiment, precipitant and protein concentration are not sampled extensively, and supersaturation conditions suitable for nucleation are often missed. Methodology/Principal Findings We tested the effect of nine potential heterogenous nucleating agents on crystallization of ten test proteins in a sparse matrix screen. Several nucleating agents induced crystal formation under conditions where no crystallization occurred in the absence of the nucleating agent. Four nucleating agents: dried seaweed; horse hair; cellulose and hydroxyapatite, had a considerable overall positive effect on crystallization success. This effect was further enhanced when these nucleating agents were used in combination with each other. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that the addition of heterogeneous nucleating agents increases the chances of crystal formation when using sparse matrix screens. PMID:17971854

  17. Crystal structure of ribosomal protein L1 from the bacterium Aquifex aeolicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikonova, E. Yu.; Tishchenko, S. V.; Gabdulkhakov, A. G.; Shklyaeva, A. A.; Garber, M. B.; Nikonov, S. V.; Nevskaya, N. A.

    2011-07-01

    The crystal structure of ribosomal protein L1 from the bacterium Aquifex aeolicus was solved by the molecular-replacement method and refined to R cryst = 19.4% and R free = 25.1% at 2.1 Å protein consists of two domains linked together by a flexible hinge region. In the structure under consideration, the domains are in close proximity and adopt a closed conformation. Earlier, this conformation has been found in the structure of protein L1 from the bacterium Thermus thermophilus, whereas the structures of archaeal L1 proteins and the structures of all L1 proteins in the RNA-bound form have an open conformation. The fact that a closed conformation was found in the structures of two L1 proteins which crystallize in different space groups and belong to different bacteria suggests that this conformation is a characteristic feature of L1 bacterial proteins in the free form.

  18. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of recombinant immunoglobulin G-binding protein from Streptococcus suis

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, Abdul Hamid; Chu, Fuliang; Feng, Youjun; Zhang, Qinagmin; Qi, Jianxun; Gao, George Fu

    2008-08-01

    Crystallization of recombinant IgG-binding protein expressed in Escherichia coli using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method is described. The crystals belonged to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 38.98, b = 43.94, c = 78.17 Å. Streptococcus suis, an important zoonotic pathogen, expresses immunoglobulin G-binding protein, which is thought to be helpful to the organism in eluding the host defence system. Recombinant IgG-binding protein expressed in Escherichia coli has been crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belonged to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 38.98, b = 43.94, c = 78.17 Å and one molecule in the asymmetric unit. Diffraction data were collected to 2.60 Å resolution.

  19. Expression, purification and crystallization of human 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein with leukotriene-biosynthesis inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Shihua; McKeever, Brian M.; Wisniewski, Douglas; Miller, Douglas K.; Spencer, Robert H.; Chu, Lin; Ujjainwalla, Feroze; Yamin, Ting-Ting; Evans, Jilly F.; Becker, Joseph W.; Ferguson, Andrew D.

    2007-12-01

    The expression, purification and crystallization of human 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein in complex with two leukotriene-biosynthesis inhibitors is decribed. The processes that were used to generate diffraction quality crystals are presented in detail. The nuclear membrane protein 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) plays an essential role in leukotriene synthesis. Recombinant full-length human FLAP with a C-terminal hexahistidine tag has been expressed and purified from the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli. Diffraction-quality crystals of FLAP in complex with leukotriene-synthesis inhibitor MK-591 and with an iodinated analogue of MK-591 have been grown using the sitting-drop vapor-diffusion method. The crystals exhibit tetragonal symmetry (P42{sub 1}2) and diffracted to a resolution limit of 4 Å.

  20. The crystal structure of the thiocyanate-forming protein from Thlaspi arvense, a kelch protein involved in glucosinolate breakdown.

    PubMed

    Gumz, Frauke; Krausze, Joern; Eisenschmidt, Daniela; Backenköhler, Anita; Barleben, Leif; Brandt, Wolfgang; Wittstock, Ute

    2015-09-01

    Kelch repeat-containing proteins are involved in diverse cellular processes, but only a small subset of plant kelch proteins has been functionally characterized. Thiocyanate-forming protein (TFP) from field-penny cress, Thlaspi arvense (Brassicaceae), is a representative of specifier proteins, a group of kelch proteins involved in plant specialized metabolism. As components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system of the Brassicaceae, specifier proteins determine the profile of bioactive products formed when plant tissue is disrupted and glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinases. Here, we describe the crystal structure of TaTFP at a resolution of 1.4 Å. TaTFP crystallized as homodimer. Each monomer forms a six-blade β-propeller with a wide "top" and a narrower "bottom" opening with distinct strand-connecting loops protruding far beyond the lower propeller surface. Molecular modeling and mutational analysis identified residues for glucosinolate aglucone and Fe(2+) cofactor binding within these loops. As the first experimentally determined structure of a plant kelch protein, the crystal structure of TaTFP not only enables more detailed mechanistic studies on glucosinolate breakdown product formation, but also provides a new basis for research on the diverse roles and mechanisms of other kelch proteins in plants. PMID:26260516

  1. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin Crystals grown on Earth and Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    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 was Alexander McPherson.

  2. Recent Advances in High-Growth Rate Single-Crystal CVD Diamond

    SciTech Connect

    Liang, Q.; Yan, C; Meng, Y; Lai, J; Krasnicki, S; Mao, H; Hemley, R

    2009-01-01

    There have been important advances in microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) of large single-crystal CVD diamond at high growth rates and applications of this diamond. The types of gas chemistry and growth conditions, including microwave power, pressure, and substrate surface temperatures, have been varied to optimize diamond quality and growth rates. The diamond has been characterized by a variety of spectroscopic and diffraction techniques. We have grown single-crystal CVD diamond over ten carats and above 1 cm in thickness at growth rates of 50-100 {micro}m/h. Colorless and near colorless single crystals up to two carats have been produced by further optimizing the process. The nominal Vickers fracture toughness of this high-growth rate diamond can be tuned to exceed 20 MPa m{sup 1/2} in comparison to 5-10 MPa m{sup 1/2} for conventional natural and CVD diamond. Post-growth high-pressure/high-temperature (HPHT) and low-pressure/high-temperature (LPHT) annealing have been carried out to alter the optical, mechanical, and electronic properties. Most recently, single-crystal CVD diamond has been successfully annealed by LPHT methods without graphitization up to 2200 C and < 300 Torr for periods of time ranging from a fraction of minute to a few hours. Significant changes observed in UV, visible, infrared, and photoluminescence spectra are attributed to changes in various vacancy centers and extended defects.

  3. In situ observation of containerless protein crystallization by magnetically levitating crystal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maki, Syou; Tanimoto, Yoshifumi; Udagawa, Chikako; Morimoto, Shotaro; Hagiwara, Masayuki

    2016-03-01

    We report on the results of the crystal growth of hen-egg lysozyme by magnetically levitating crystals in a small amount of buffer solution. The concentrations of lysozyme and the precipitating agent (gadolinium chloride) were 6.53 wt % and 0.362 mol/kg, respectively. Gadolinium chloride, which induces the magneto-Archimedes effect, was utilized to levitate the crystals with Bz · (dBz/dz) = 22.46 T2/m, where Bz is the vertical (z) component of the magnetic flux density vector. Although the collected crystals were small, we succeeded in maintaining the levitation of the crystals into a specific place in the liquid phase from the beginning of nucleation. In situ observation revealed that a state of pseudo-weightlessness was generated in the vicinity of the magnet bore edge, and small crystals were concentrated inside the domain moving along an hourglass-shaped surface. We found by numerical computations that the formation of the hourglass-shaped domain is attributable to the radial component of the magnetic force.

  4. Advances in the growth of alkaline-Earth halide single crystals for scintillator detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boatner, L. A.; Ramey, J. O.; Kolopus, J. A.; Neal, J. S.; Cherepy, N. J.; Beck, P. R.; Payne, S. A.; Burger, A.; Rowe, E.; Bhattacharya, P.

    2014-09-01

    Alkaline-earth scintillators such as strontium iodide and other alkaline-earth halides activated with divalent europium represent some of the most efficient and highest energy resolution scintillators for use as gamma-ray detectors in a wide range of applications. These applications include the areas of nuclear nonproliferation, homeland security, the detection of undeclared nuclear material, nuclear physics and materials science, medical diagnostics, space physics, high energy physics, and radiation monitoring systems for first responders, police, and fire/rescue personnel. Recent advances in the growth of large single crystals of these scintillator materials hold the promise of higher crystal yields and significantly lower detector production costs. In the present work, we describe new processing protocols that, when combined with our molten salt filtration methods, have led to advances in achieving a significant reduction of cracking effects during the growth of single crystals of SrI2:Eu2+. In particular, we have found that extended pumping on the molten crystalgrowth charge under vacuum for time periods extending up to 48 hours is generally beneficial in compensating for variations in the alkaline-earth halide purity and stoichiometry of the materials as initially supplied by commercial sources. These melt-pumping and processing techniques are now being applied to the purification of CaI2:Eu2+ and some mixed-anion europium-doped alkaline-earth halides prior to single-crystal growth by means of the vertical Bridgman technique. The results of initial studies of the effects of aliovalent doping of SrI2:Eu2+ on the scintillation characteristics of this material are also described.

  5. High-molecular-weight polymers for protein crystallization: poly-γ-glutamic acid-based precipitants

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Ting-Chou; Korczyńska, Justyna; Smith, David K.; Brzozowski, Andrzej Marek

    2008-09-01

    High-molecular-weight poly-γ-glutamic acid-based polymers have been synthesized, tested and adopted for protein crystallization. Protein crystallization has been revolutionized by the introduction of high-throughput technologies, which have led to a speeding up of the process while simultaneously reducing the amount of protein sample necessary. Nonetheless, the chemistry dimension of protein crystallization has remained relatively undeveloped. Most crystallization screens are based on the same set of precipitants. To address this shortcoming, the development of new protein precipitants based on poly-γ-glutamic acid (PGA) polymers with different molecular-weight ranges is reported here: PGA-LM (low molecular weight) of ∼400 kDa and PGA-HM (high molecular weight) of >1000 kDa. It is also demonstrated that protein precipitants can be expanded further to polymers with much higher molecular weight than those that are currently in use. Furthermore, the modification of PGA-like polymers by covalent attachments of glucosamine substantially improved their solubility without affecting their crystallization properties. Some preliminary PGA-based screens are presented here.

  6. A systematic approach to the large-scale production of protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Lee; Vaghjiani; Lye; Turner

    2000-05-01

    Crystallization has recently emerged as a suitable process for the manufacture of biocatalysts in the form of cross-linked enzyme crystals (CLECs) or for the recovery of proteins from fermentation broths. In both instances it is essential to define conditions which control crystal size and habit, and that yield a reliable recovery of the active protein. Experiments to define the crystallization conditions usually depend on a factorial design (either incomplete or sparse matrix) or reverse screening techniques. In this work, we describe a simple procedure that allows the effect of three factors, for example protein concentration, precipitant concentration and pH, to be varied simultaneously and smoothly over a wide range. The results are mapped onto a simple triangular diagram where a 'window of crystallization' is immediately apparent, and that conveniently describes variations either in the crystal features, such as their yield, size, and habit, or in the recovery of biological activity. The approach is illustrated with two enzymes, yeast alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH I) and Candida rugosa lipase. For ADH the formation of two crystal habits (rod and hexagonal) could be controlled as a function of pH (6.5-10) and temperature (4-25 degrees C). At pH 7, in 10 to 16% w/v polyethylene glycol (PEG) 4000, only rod-shaped crystals formed whereas at pH 8, in 10 to 14% w/v PEG, only hexagonal crystals existed. For both enzymes, catalyst recovery was greatest at high crystallization agent concentrations and low protein concentration. For ADH, the greatest activity recovery was 87% whereas for the lipase crystals, by using 45% v/v 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol (MPD) as the crystallization agent, a crystal recovery of 250 crystals per µl was obtained. For the lipase system, the use of crystal seeding was also shown to increase the crystal recovery by up to a factor of four. From the crystallization windows, the original conditions based on literature precedent (35% v/v MPD, 1 mM Ca

  7. Effects of Convective Transport of Solute and Impurities on Defect-Causing Kinetics Instabilities in Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilov, Peter G.

    2003-01-01

    Insight into the crystallization processes of biological macromolecules into crystals or aggregates can provide valuable guidelines in many fundamental and applied fields. Such insight will prompt new means to regulate protein phase transitions in-vivo, e.g., polymerization of hemoglobin S in the red cells, crystallization of crystallins in the eye lens, etc. Understanding of protein crystal nucleation will help achieve narrow crystallite size distributions, needed for sustained release of pharmaceutical protein preparations such as insulin or interferon. Traditionally, protein crystallization studies have been related to the pursuit of crystal perfection needed to improve the structure details provided by x-ray, electron or neutron diffraction methods. Crystallization trials for the purposes of structural biology carried out in space have posed an intriguing question related to the inconsistency of the effects of the microgravity growth on the quality of the crystals.

  8. Observing the overall rocking motion of a protein in a crystal

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Peixiang; Xue, Yi; Coquelle, Nicolas; Haller, Jens D.; Yuwen, Tairan; Ayala, Isabel; Mikhailovskii, Oleg; Willbold, Dieter; Colletier, Jacques-Philippe; Skrynnikov, Nikolai R.; Schanda, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The large majority of three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules have been determined by X-ray diffraction of crystalline samples. High-resolution structure determination crucially depends on the homogeneity of the protein crystal. Overall ‘rocking' motion of molecules in the crystal is expected to influence diffraction quality, and such motion may therefore affect the process of solving crystal structures. Yet, so far overall molecular motion has not directly been observed in protein crystals, and the timescale of such dynamics remains unclear. Here we use solid-state NMR, X-ray diffraction methods and μs-long molecular dynamics simulations to directly characterize the rigid-body motion of a protein in different crystal forms. For ubiquitin crystals investigated in this study we determine the range of possible correlation times of rocking motion, 0.1–100 μs. The amplitude of rocking varies from one crystal form to another and is correlated with the resolution obtainable in X-ray diffraction experiments. PMID:26436197

  9. Determining the Molecular Packing Arrangements on Protein Crystal Faces by Atomic Force Microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Huayu; Perozzo, Mary A.; Konnert, John H.; Nadarajan, Arunan; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    Periodic Bond Chain (PBC) analysis of the packing of tetragonal lysozyme crystals have revealed that there are two possible molecular packing arrangements for the crystal faces. The analysis also predicted that only one of these, involving the formation of helices about the 4(sub 3) axes, would prevail during crystal growth. In this study high resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to verify these predictions for the (110) crystal face. A computer program was developed which constructs the expected AFM image for a given tip shape for each possible molecular packing arrangement. By comparing the actual AFM image with the predicted images the correct packing arrangement was determined. The prediction of an arrangement involving 4(sub 3) helices was confirmed in this manner,"while the alternate arrangement was not observed. The investigation also showed the protein molecules were packed slightly closer about the 4(sub 3) axes than in the crystallographic arrangement of the crystal interior. This study demonstrates a new approach for determining the molecular packing arrangements on protein crystal faces. It also shows the power of combining a theoretical PBC analysis with experimental high resolution AFM techniques in probing protein crystal growth processes at the molecular level.

  10. Observing the overall rocking motion of a protein in a crystal.

    PubMed

    Ma, Peixiang; Xue, Yi; Coquelle, Nicolas; Haller, Jens D; Yuwen, Tairan; Ayala, Isabel; Mikhailovskii, Oleg; Willbold, Dieter; Colletier, Jacques-Philippe; Skrynnikov, Nikolai R; Schanda, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The large majority of three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules have been determined by X-ray diffraction of crystalline samples. High-resolution structure determination crucially depends on the homogeneity of the protein crystal. Overall 'rocking' motion of molecules in the crystal is expected to influence diffraction quality, and such motion may therefore affect the process of solving crystal structures. Yet, so far overall molecular motion has not directly been observed in protein crystals, and the timescale of such dynamics remains unclear. Here we use solid-state NMR, X-ray diffraction methods and μs-long molecular dynamics simulations to directly characterize the rigid-body motion of a protein in different crystal forms. For ubiquitin crystals investigated in this study we determine the range of possible correlation times of rocking motion, 0.1-100 μs. The amplitude of rocking varies from one crystal form to another and is correlated with the resolution obtainable in X-ray diffraction experiments. PMID:26436197

  11. In vacuo X-ray data collection from graphene-wrapped protein crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, Anna J.; Crawshaw, Adam D.; Trincao, Jose; Aller, Pierre; Alcock, Simon; Nistea, Ioana; Salgado, Paula S.; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2015-09-26

    A method is reported for collecting room-temperature data from protein crystals under vacuum by protecting them with a thin graphene layer. The measurement of diffraction data from macromolecular crystal samples held in vacuo holds the promise of a very low X-ray background and zero absorption of incident and scattered beams, leading to better data and the potential for accessing very long X-ray wavelengths (>3 Å) for native sulfur phasing. Maintaining the hydration of protein crystals under vacuum is achieved by the use of liquid jets, as with serial data collection at free-electron lasers, or is side-stepped by cryocooling the samples, as implemented at new synchrotron beamlines. Graphene has been shown to protect crystals from dehydration by creating an extremely thin layer that is impermeable to any exchanges with the environment. Furthermore, owing to its hydrophobicity, most of the aqueous solution surrounding the crystal is excluded during sample preparation, thus eliminating most of the background caused by liquid. Here, it is shown that high-quality data can be recorded at room temperature from graphene-wrapped protein crystals in a rough vacuum. Furthermore, it was observed that graphene protects crystals exposed to different relative humidities and a chemically harsh environment.

  12. Protein crystal growth results from the United States Microgravity Laboratory-1 mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Moore, K. M.; Vanderwoerd, M.; Bray, T. L.; Smith, C.; Carson, M.; Narayana, S. V. L.; Rosenblum, W. M.; Carter, D.; Clark, A. D, Jr.

    1994-01-01

    Protein crystal growth experiments have been performed by this laboratory on 18 Space Shuttle missions since April, 1985. In addition, a number of microgravity experiments also have been performed and reported by other investigators. These Space Shuttle missions have been used to grow crystals of a variety of proteins using vapor diffusion, liquid diffusion, and temperature-induced crystallization techniques. The United States Microgravity Laboratory - 1 mission (USML-1, June 25 - July 9, 1992) was a Spacelab mission dedicated to experiments involved in materials processing. New protein crystal growth hardware was developed to allow in orbit examination of initial crystal growth results, the knowledge from which was used on subsequent days to prepare new crystal growth experiments. In addition, new seeding hardware and techniques were tested as well as techniques that would prepare crystals for analysis by x-ray diffraction, a capability projected for the planned Space Station. Hardware that was specifically developed for the USML-1 mission will be discussed along with the experimental results from this mission.

  13. Test results of a diamond double-crystal monochromator at the advanced photon source

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, P.B.; Graber, T.; Krasnicki, S.; Lee, W.; Mills, D.M.; Rogers, C.S.; Assoufid, L.

    1997-07-01

    We have tested the first diamond double-crystal monochromator at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). The monochromator consisted of two synthetic type 1b (111) diamond plates in symmetric Bragg geometry. We tested two pairs of single-crystal plates: the first pair was 6 mm by 5 mm by 0.25 mm and 6 mm by 5 mm by 0.37 mm; the second set was 7 mm by 5.5 mm by 0.44 mm. The monochromator first crystal was indirectly cooled by edge contact with a water-cooled copper holder. We studied the performance of the monochromator under the high-power x-ray beam delivered by the APS undulator A. We found no indication of thermal distortions or strains even at the highest incident power (280 watts) and power density (123W/mm{sup 2} at normal incidence). The calculated maximum power and power density absorbed by the first crystal were 37 watts and 4.3W/mm{sup 2}, respectively. We also compared the maximum intensity delivered by the diamond monochromator and by a silicon (111) cryogenically cooled monochromator. For energies in the range of 6 to 10 keV, the flux through the diamond monochromator was about a factor of two less than through the silicon monochromator, in good agreement with calculations. We conclude that water-cooled diamond monochromators can handle the high-power beams from the undulator beamlines at the APS. As single-crystal diamond plates of larger size and better quality become available, the use of diamond monochromators will become a very attractive option. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  14. Test results of a diamond double-crystal monochromator at the advanced photon source

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, P. B.; Graber, T.; Krasnicki, S.; Lee, W.-K.; Mills, D. M.; Rogers, C. S.; Assoufid, L.

    1997-07-01

    We have tested the first diamond double-crystal monochromator at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). The monochromator consisted of two synthetic type 1b (111) diamond plates in symmetric Bragg geometry. We tested two pairs of single-crystal plates: the first pair was 6 mm by 5 mm by 0.25 mm and 6 mm by 5 mm by 0.37 mm; the second set was 7 mm by 5.5 mm by 0.44 mm. The monochromator first crystal was indirectly cooled by edge contact with a water-cooled copper holder. We studied the performance of the monochromator under the high-power x-ray beam delivered by the APS undulator A. We found no indication of thermal distortions or strains even at the highest incident power (280 watts) and power density (123 W/mm{sup 2} at normal incidence). The calculated maximum power and power density absorbed by the first crystal were 37 watts and 4.3 W/mm{sup 2}, respectively. We also compared the maximum intensity delivered by the diamond monochromator and by a silicon (111) cryogenically cooled monochromator. For energies in the range of 6 to 10 keV, the flux through the diamond monochromator was about a factor of two less than through the silicon monochromator, in good agreement with calculations. We conclude that water-cooled diamond monochromators can handle the high-power beams from the undulator beamlines at the APS. As single-crystal diamond plates of larger size and better quality become available, the use of diamond monochromators will become a very attractive option.

  15. Test results of a diamond double-crystal monochromator at the advanced photon source

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, P.B.; Graber, T.; Krasnicki, S.; Lee, W.K.

    1997-06-01

    We have tested the first diamond double-crystal monochromator at the Advanced Photon Source (APS). The monochromator consisted of two synthetic type lb (111) diamond plates in symmetric Bragg geometry. We tested two pairs of single-crystal plates: the first pair was 6 mm by 5 mm by 0.25 mm and 6 mm by 5 mm by 0.37 mm; the second set was 7 mm by 5.5 mm by 0.44 mm. The monochromator first crystal was indirectly cooled by edge contact with a water-cooled copper holder. We studied the performance of the monochromator under the high-power x-ray beam delivered by the APS undulator A. We found no indication of thermal distortions or strains even at the highest incident power (280 watts) and power density (123 W/mm{sup 2} at normal incidence). The calculated maximum power and power density absorbed by the first crystal were 37 watts and 16 W/mm{sup 2} respectively. We also compared the maximum intensity delivered by the diamond monochromator and by a silicon (111) cryogenically cooled monochromator. For energies in the range of 6 to 10 keV, the flux through the diamond monochromator was about a factor of two less than through the silicon monochromator, in good agreement with calculations. We conclude that water-cooled diamond monochromators can handle the high-power beams from the undulator beams from the undulator beamlines at the APS. As single-crystal diamond plates of larger size and better quality become available, the use of diamond monochromators will become a very attractive option.

  16. Protein Crystals Grow Purer in Space: Physics of Phenomena

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alex A.

    2000-01-01

    This presentation will summarize the quantitative experimental and theoretical results obtained by B.R. Thomas, P.G. Vekilov, D.C. Carter, A.M. Holmes, W.K. Widierow and the Author, the team with expertise in physics, biochemistry, crystallography and engineering. Impurities inhomogeneously trapped by a growing crystal - e.g., producing sectorial structure and/or striations - may induce macroscopic internal stress in it if an impurity molecule has slightly (less than 10%) different shape or volume than the regular one(s) they replace. We tested for the first time plasticity and measured Young modulus E of the triclinic, not cross-linked lysozyme by triple point bending technique. Triclinic lysozyme crystals are purely elastic with E similar or equal to 1/5 (raised dot) 10 (exp 9) partial derivative yn/sq cm. The strength limit, sigma (sub c) similar or equal to 10 (exp -3)E similar or equal to Epsilon (sub c), where sigma (sub c) and epsilon (sub c) are critical stress and strain, respectively. Scaling E and sigma (sub c) with the lattice spacing suggests similar binding stiffness in inorganic and biomolecular crystals. The inhomogeneous internal stress may be resolved in these brittle crystals either by cracking or by creation of misoriented mosaic blocks during, not after growth. If each impurity molecule induces in the lattice elementary strain epsilon (sub 0) similar or equal to 3 (raised dot) 10 (exp -2) (this is maximal elementary strain that can arise at the supersaturation DELTA mu/kT similar or equal to 2 and macroscopic molecular concentration difference between subsequent macrolayers or growth sectors is partial derivativeC similar or equal to 5 (raised dot) 10 (exp -3), the internal strain epsilon similar or equal to epsilon (sub 0) partial derivative C similar or equal to 10 (exp -4). Mosaic misorientation resolving such strain is approximately 30 arcsec. Tenfold increase of impurity concentration may cause cracking. Estimates of stress in an isometric

  17. Approach for growth of high-quality and large protein crystals

    PubMed Central

    Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Hirose, Mika; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Maruyama, Mihoko; Murai, Ryota; Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Inoue, Tsuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Three crystallization methods for growing large high-quality protein crystals, i.e. crystallization in the presence of a semi-solid agarose gel, top-seeded solution growth (TSSG) and a large-scale hanging-drop method, have previously been presented. In this study the effectiveness of crystallization in the presence of a semi-solid agarose gel has been further evaluated by crystallizing additional proteins in the presence of 2.0% (w/v) agarose gel, resulting in complete gelification with high mechanical strength. In TSSG the seed crystals are hung by a seed holder protruding from the top of the growth vessel to prevent polycrystallization. In the large-scale hanging-drop method, a cut pipette tip was used to maintain large-scale droplets consisting of protein–precipitant solution. Here a novel crystallization method that combines TSSG and the large-scale hanging-drop method is reported. A large and single crystal of lysozyme was obtained by this method. PMID:21169683

  18. Solutal Convection Around Growing Protein Crystal and Diffusional Purification in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Chun P.; Chernov, Alexander A.

    2004-01-01

    At least some protein crystals were found to preferentially trap microheterogeneous impurities. The latter are, for example, dimmer molecules of the crystallizing proteines (e.g. ferritin, lysozyme), or the regular molecules on which surfaces small molecules or ions are adsorbed (e.g. acetilated lysozyme) and modi@ molecular charge. Impurities may induce lattice defects and deteriorate structural resolution. Distribution of impurities between mother solution and gorwing crystal is defined by two interrelated distribution coefficients: kappa = rho(sup c, sub 2) and K = (rho(sup c, sub 2)/rho(sup c, sub 1)/rho(sub 2)/rho(sub 1). Here, rho(sub 2), rho(sub 1) and rho(sup c, sub 2) are densities of impurity (2) and regular protein (1) in solution at the growing interface and within the crystal ("c"). For the microheterogeneous impurities studied, K approx. = 2 - 4, so that kappa approx. - 10(exp 2) - 10(exp 3), since K = kappa (rho(sub 1)/rho(sup c, sub 1) and protein solubility ratio rho(sub 1)/rho(sub=p c, sub 2) much less than 1. Therefore, a crystal growing in absence of convection purifies mother solution around itself, grows cleaner and, probably, more perfect. If convection is present, the solution flow permanently brings new impurities to the crystal. This work theoretically addressed two subjects: 1) onset of convection, 2) distribution of impurities.

  19. Rationalization of Membrane Protein Crystallization with Polyethylene Glycol Using a Simple Depletion Model

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Shinpei; Ataka, Mitsuo; Onuma, Kazuo; Kubota, Tomomi

    2003-01-01

    Based on the importance of crystallizing membrane proteins in a rational way, cytochrome bc1 complex (BC1) was crystallized using polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a sole crystallization agent. Interaction between protein-detergent complexes of BC1 was estimated by dynamic light scattering, and was compared with the numerical calculation using the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek potential plus a depletion potential, without considering specific surface properties of the protein-detergent complexes. The experiments and calculation were found to be consistent and we obtained a relation between PEG molecular weight M and the range of depletion zone δ as δ ∼ M0.48±0.02. The stability of liquid phase of BC1 solutions was controlled by a ratio of (the range of depletion zone)/(the radius of a BC1 particle), which was consistent with recent theoretical predictions. The crystallization was most successful under a condition where the stability of the liquid phase changed from stable to unstable. The PEG molecular weight that fulfilled this condition coincided with the one used empirically to crystallize BC1 in the past by a number of groups. These results are compared to the fact that membrane proteins were often successfully crystallized close to the detergent cloud point. PMID:12719259

  20. Membrane protein crystallization in micelles conjugated by nucleoside base-pairing: A different concept.

    PubMed

    Hosamani, Basavaprabhu; Kale, Raju R; Sharma, Hemlata; Wachtel, Ellen; Kesselman, Ellina; Danino, Dganit; Friedman, Noga; Sheves, Mordechai; Namboothiri, Irishi N N; Patchornik, Guy

    2016-09-01

    The dearth of high quality, three dimensional crystals of membrane proteins, suitable for X-ray diffraction analysis, constitutes a serious barrier to progress in structural biology. To address this challenge, we have developed a new crystallization medium that relies on the conjugation of surfactant micelles via base-pairing of complementary hydrophobic nucleosides. Base-pairs formed at the interface between micelles bring them into proximity with each other; and when the conjugated micelles contain a membrane protein, crystal nucleation centers can be stabilized, thereby promoting crystal growth. Accordingly, two hydrophobic nucleoside derivatives - deoxyguanosine (G) and deoxycytidine (C), each covalently bonded to a 10 carbon chain were synthesized and added to an aqueous solution containing octyl β-d-thioglucopyranoside micelles. These hydrophobic nucleosides induced the formation of oil-rich globules after 2days incubation at 19°C or after a few hours in the presence of ammonium sulfate; however, phase separation was inhibited by 100mM GMP. The presence of the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin in the conjugated - micellar dispersion resulted in the growth within the colorless globules of a variety of purple crystals, the color indicating a functional protein. On this basis, we suggest that conjugation of micelles via base-pair complementarity may provide significant assistance to the structural determination of integral membrane proteins. PMID:27368128

  1. Humidity control and hydrophilic glue coating applied to mounted protein crystals improves X-ray diffraction experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Baba, Seiki; Hoshino, Takeshi; Ito, Len; Kumasaka, Takashi

    2013-09-01

    A new crystal-mounting method has been developed that involves a combination of controlled humid air and polymer glue for crystal coating. This method is particularly useful when applied to fragile protein crystals that are known to be sensitive to subtle changes in their physicochemical environment. Protein crystals are fragile, and it is sometimes difficult to find conditions suitable for handling and cryocooling the crystals before conducting X-ray diffraction experiments. To overcome this issue, a protein crystal-mounting method has been developed that involves a water-soluble polymer and controlled humid air that can adjust the moisture content of a mounted crystal. By coating crystals with polymer glue and exposing them to controlled humid air, the crystals were stable at room temperature and were cryocooled under optimized humidity. Moreover, the glue-coated crystals reproducibly showed gradual transformations of their lattice constants in response to a change in humidity; thus, using this method, a series of isomorphous crystals can be prepared. This technique is valuable when working on fragile protein crystals, including membrane proteins, and will also be useful for multi-crystal data collection.

  2. High-throughput Protein Purification and Quality Assessment for Crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Youngchang; Babnigg, Gyorgy; Jedrzejczak, Robert; Eschenfeldt, William H.; Li, Hui; Maltseva, Natalia; Hatzos-Skintges, Catherine; Gu, Minyi; Makowska-Grzyska, Magdalena; Wu, Ruiying; An, Hao; Chhor, Gekleng; Joachimiak, Andrzej

    2012-01-01

    The ultimate goal of structural biology is to understand the structural basis of proteins in cellular processes. In structural biology, the most critical issue is the availability of high-quality samples. “Structural biology-grade” proteins must be generated in the quantity and quality suitable for structure determination using X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The purification procedures must reproducibly yield homogeneous proteins or their derivatives containing marker atom(s) in milligram quantities. The choice of protein purification and handling procedures plays a critical role in obtaining high-quality protein samples. With structural genomics emphasizing a genome-based approach in understanding protein structure and function, a number of unique structures covering most of the protein folding space have been determined and new technologies with high efficiency have been developed. At the Midwest Center for Structural Genomics (MCSG), we have developed semi-automated protocols for high-throughput parallel protein expression and purification. A protein, expressed as a fusion with a cleavable affinity tag, is purified in two consecutive immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) steps: (i) the first step is an IMAC coupled with buffer-exchange, or size exclusion chromatography (IMAC-I), followed by the cleavage of the affinity tag using the highly specific Tobacco Etch Virus (TEV) protease; [1] the second step is IMAC and buffer exchange (IMAC-II) to remove the cleaved tag and tagged TEV protease. These protocols have been implemented on multidimensional chromatography workstations and, as we have shown, many proteins can be successfully produced in large-scale. All methods and protocols used for purification, some developed by MCSG, others adopted and integrated into the MCSG purification pipeline and more recently the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID) purification pipeline, are

  3. Crystallization and initial X-ray analysis of polyhydroxyalkanoate granule-associated protein from Aeromonas hydrophila

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Minglian; Li, Zhenguo; Zheng, Wei; Lou, Zhiyong; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    2006-08-01

    The phasin PhaP{sub Ah} from A. hydrophila strain 4AK4 was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) granule-associated proteins (phasins) were discovered in PHA-accumulating bacteria. They play a crucial role as a structural protein during initial PHA-granule formation and granule growth and also serve as interfaces for granule stabilization in vivo. The phasin PhaP{sub Ah} from Aeromonas hydrophila strain 4AK4 was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. Single crystals were cryocooled for X-ray diffraction analysis. The phasin crystals belonged to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 80.8, b = 108.9, c = 134.4 Å.

  4. Theory of Nucleation and Growth of Protein Crystals by Solvent Evaporation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baird, James K.

    1998-03-01

    Protein crystals precipitate from pH buffered aqueous solutions of strong electrolytes. Solvent evaporation is ordinarily used to supersaturate the solution and provoke nucleation. Nuclei which pass through the critical size go on to become macroscopic crystals. We investigate theoretically the early time regime where the rate of solvent evaporation controls the rate of increase of supersaturation. At rates which depend upon this supersaturation, nucleation and growth occur continuously and randomly throughout the solution. We assume that the faces of a nucleus created at time, t', grow by the spiral dislocation mechanism. Starting at t' = 0, integration of the growth rate function over t' gives an expression for the mass of crystals that have been formed up to time, t. In addition to a number of microscopic parameters describing the nuclei and crystals, this expression depends upon the concentration of the electrolyte as well as the initial and final masses of the dissolved protein.

  5. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of Sfh3, a member of the Sec14 protein superfamily

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Jihui; Schaaf, Gabriel; Bankaitis, Vytas A.; Ortlund, Eric A.; Pathak, Manish C.

    2012-03-26

    Sec14 is the major phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns)/phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) transfer protein in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is the founding member of the Sec14 protein superfamily. Recent functional data suggest that Sec14 functions as a nanoreactor for PtdCho-regulated presentation of PtdIns to PtdIns kinase to affect membrane trafficking. Extrapolation of this concept to other members of the Sec14 superfamily suggests a mechanism by which a comprehensive cohort of Sec14-like nanoreactors sense correspondingly diverse pools of lipid metabolites. In turn, metabolic information is translated to signaling circuits driven by phosphoinositide metabolism. Sfh3, one of five Sec14 homologs in yeast, exhibits several interesting functional features, including its unique localization to lipid particles and microsomes. This localization forecasts novel regulatory interfaces between neutral lipid metabolism and phosphoinositide signaling. To launch a detailed structural and functional characterization of Sfh3, the recombinant protein was purified to homogeneity, diffraction-quality crystals were produced and a native X-ray data set was collected to 2.2 {angstrom} resolution. To aid in phasing, SAD X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.93 {angstrom} resolution from an SeMet-labeled crystal at the Southeast Regional Collaborative Access Team at the Advanced Photon Source. Here, the cloning and purification of Sfh3 and the preliminary diffraction of Sfh3 crystals are reported, enabling structural analyses that are expected to reveal novel principles governing ligand binding and functional specificity for Sec14-superfamily proteins.

  6. Intrinsic Kinetics Fluctuations as Cause of Growth Inhomogeneity in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilov, Peter G.; Rosenberger, Franz

    1998-01-01

    Intrinsic kinetics instabilities in the form of growth step bunching during the crystallization of the protein lysozyme from solution were characterized by in situ high-resolution optical interferometry. Compositional variations (striations) in the crystal, which potentially decrease its utility, e.g., for molecular structure studies by diffraction methods, were visualized by polarized light reflection microscopy. A spatiotemporal correlation was established between the sequence of moving step bunches and the striations.

  7. The role of entropy and polarity in intermolecular contacts in protein crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Cieślik, Marcin; Derewenda, Zygmunt S.

    2009-05-01

    Logistic regression was used to study the amino-acid composition and structure of crystal contacts in monomeric proteins. Crystal contacts are generally depleted of large flexible amino acids and enriched in small and hydrophobic residues such as Gly and Leu; additionally, larger contacts have cores depleted of polar residues. The integrity and X-ray diffraction quality of protein crystals depend on the three-dimensional order of relatively weak but reproducible intermolecular contacts. Despite their importance, relatively little attention has been paid to the chemical and physical nature of these contacts, which are often regarded as stochastic and thus not different from randomly selected protein surface patches. Here, logistic regression was used to analyze crystal contacts in a database of 821 unambiguously monomeric proteins with structures determined to 2.5 Å resolution or better. It is shown that the propensity of a surface residue for incorporation into a crystal contact is not a linear function of its solvent-accessible surface area and that amino acids with low exposed surfaces, which are typically small and hydrophobic, have been underestimated with respect to their contact-forming potential by earlier area-based calculations. For any given solvent-exposed surface, small and hydrophobic residues are more likely to be involved in crystal contacts than large and charged amino acids. Side-chain entropy is the single physicochemical property that is most negatively correlated with the involvement of amino acids in crystal contacts. It is also shown that crystal contacts with larger buried surfaces containing eight or more amino acids have cores that are depleted of polar amino acids.

  8. Using Magnetic Fields to Control Convection during Protein Crystallization: Analysis and Validation Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, N.; Leslie, F. W.

    2004-01-01

    The effect of convection during the crystallization of proteins is not very well understood. In a gravitational field, convection is caused by crystal sedimentation and by solutal buoyancy induced flow and these can lead to crystal imperfections. While crystallization in microgravity can approach diffusion limited growth conditions (no convection), terrestrially strong magnetic fields can be used to control fluid flow and sedimentation effects. In this work, we develop the analysis for magnetic flow control and test the predictions using analog experiments. Specifically, experiments on solutal convection in a paramagnetic fluid were conducted in a strong magnetic field gradient using a dilute solution of Manganese Chloride. The observed flows indicate that the magnetic field can completely counter the settling effects of gravity locally and are consistent with the theoretical predictions presented. This phenomenon suggests that magnetic fields may be useful in mimicking the microgravity environment of space for some crystal growth ana biological applications where fluid convection is undesirable.

  9. First Crystal Structure for a Gold Carbene-Protein Adduct.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Giarita; Gabbiani, Chiara; Merlino, Antonello

    2016-07-20

    The X-ray structure of the adduct formed in the reaction between the gold N-heterocyclic carbene compound Au(NHC)Cl (with NHC = 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazole-2-ylidene) and the model protein thaumatin is reported here. The structure reveals binding of Au(NHC)(+) fragments to distinct protein sites. Notably, binding of the gold compound occurs at lysine side chains and at the N-terminal tail; the metal binds the protein after releasing Cl(-) ligand, but retaining NHC fragment. PMID:27364343

  10. Crystal Structure of Human Retinoblastoma Binding Protein 9

    SciTech Connect

    Vorobiev, S.; Su, M; Seetharaman, J; Huang, Y; Chen, C; Maglaqui, M; Janjua, H; Montelione, G; Tong, L; et. al.

    2009-01-01

    As a step towards better integrating protein three-dimensional (3D) structural information in cancer systems biology, the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) (www.nesg.org) has constructed a Human Cancer Pathway Protein Interaction Network (HCPIN) by analysis of several classical cancer-associated signaling pathways and their physical protein-protein interactions. Many well-known cancer-associated proteins play central roles as hubs or bottlenecks in the HCPIN (http://nmr.cabm.rutgers.edu/hcpin). NESG has selected more than 1000 human proteins and protein domains from the HCPIN for sample production and 3D structure determination. The long-range goal of this effort is to provide a comprehensive 3D structure-function database for human cancer-associated proteins and protein complexes, in the context of their interaction networks. Human retinoblastoma binding protein 9 (RBBP9) is one of the HCPIN proteins targeted by NESG. RBBP9 was initially identified as the product of a new gene, Bog (for B5T over-expressed gene), in several transformed rat liver epithelial cell lines resistant to the growth-inhibitory effect of TGF-1 as well as in primary human liver tumors. RBBP9 contains the retinoblastoma (Rb) binding motif LxCxE in its sequence, and was shown to interact with Rb by yeast two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation experiments. Mutation of the Leu residue in this motif to Gln blocked the binding to Rb. RBBP9 can displace E2F1 from E2F1-Rb complexes, and over expression of RBBP9 overcomes TGF-1 induced growth arrest and results in transformation of rat liver epithelial cells leading to hepatoblastoma-like tumors in nude mice. RBBP9 may also play a role in cellular responses to chronic low dose radiation. A close homolog of RBBP9, sharing 93% amino acid sequence identity and also known as RBBP10, interacts with a protein with sua5-yciO-yrdC domains.

  11. Protein purification in multicompartment electrolyzers for crystal growth of r-DNA products in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Righetti, Pier Giorgio; Casale, Elena; Carter, Daniel; Snyder, Robert S.; Wenisch, Elisabeth; Faupel, Michel

    1990-01-01

    Recombinant-DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) (r-DNA) proteins, produced in large quantities for human consumption, are now available in sufficient amounts for crystal growth. Crystallographic analysis is the only method now available for defining the atomic arrangements within complex biological molecules and decoding, e.g., the structure of the active site. Growing protein crystals in microgravity has become an important aspect of biology in space, since crystals that are large enough and of sufficient quality to permit complete structure determinations are usually obtained. However even small amounts of impurities in a protein preparation are anathema for the growth of a regular crystal lattice. A multicompartment electrolyzer with isoelectric, immobiline membranes, able to purify large quantities of r-DNA proteins is described. The electrolyzer consists of a stack of flow cells, delimited by membranes of very precise isoelectric point (pI, consisting of polyacrylamide supported by glass fiber filters containing Immobiline buffers and titrants to uniquely define a pI value) and very high buffering power, able to titrate all proteins tangent or crossing such membranes. By properly selecting the pI values of two membranes delimiting a flow chamber, a single protein can be kept isoelectric in a single flow chamber and thus, be purified to homogeneity (by the most stringent criterion, charge homogeneity).

  12. The effect of protein contaminants on the crystallization of turkey egg white lysozyme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abergel, Chantal; Nesa, Marie P.; Fontecilla-Camps, Juan C.

    1991-03-01

    We report here a series of studies on the controlled contamination of crystallizing solutions of the hexagonal form of turkey egg white lysozyme (TEWL) carried out to understand the effects of impurities on the nucleation and growth of protein crystals. The contamination of TEWL solutions with any of three other avian lysozymes affects both the nucleation and the growth processes. For hen and quail egg white lysozymes, low and medium levels of contamination result in partial inhibition of nucleation and shortening of the c-axis. Further increase of the contaminant concentration leads to detectable co-crystallization. A different effect is obtained when using the pheasant egg white lysozyme. Contamination by an unrelated protein, ribonuclease A, has an effect on the nucleation levels that is similar to those observed with the avian lysozymes. However, no effect on TEWL crystal morphology is observed. Thus, in the case of TEWL crystals, one can distinguish between a specific effect on crystal morphology induced by related proteins and a more general inhibitory effect on the nucleation levels observed in all cases studied here.

  13. Influence of protein solution in nucleation and optimized formulation for the growth of ARM lipase crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Raja Noor Zaliha Raja Abd; Masomian, Malihe; Leow, Adam Thean Chor; Ali, Mohd Shukuri Mohamad

    2015-09-01

    ARM lipase is a thermostable and organic solvent tolerant enzyme which was highly purified prior to crystallization. The His-tagged ARM lipase was purified with immobilized metal affinity chromatography followed by anion-exchange chromatography. The effect of different salt concentrations on stability, solubility and crystal nucleation of the protein was studied. The highly purified and homogeneous ARM lipase with protein concentration of 2 mg/mL was successfully crystallized by a sitting drop, vapor diffusion method with the use of 0.1 M MES monohydrate pH 6.5 and 12% (v/v) polyethylene glycol (PEG) 20000 as precipitant. The crystallization conditions were optimized by changing the pH and concentration of the precipitant. The optimum crystallization condition was 2 mg/mL ARM lipase in 0.1 M Tris-HCl, 0.15 M NaCl, pH 8.0 protein solution, crystallized using 0.1 M Tris-HCl, pH 8.0 and 12% (v/v) PEG 20000 as precipitant.

  14. Protein Crystal Engineering of YpAC-IV Using a Strategy of Excess Charge Reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Gallagher, D.; Smith, N; Kim, S; Robinson, H; Reddy, P

    2009-01-01

    The class IV adenylyl cyclase from Yersinia pestis has been engineered by site-specific mutagenesis to facilitate crystallization at neutral pH. The wild-type enzyme crystallized only below pH 5, consistent with the observation of a carboxyl-carboxylate H bond in a crystal contact in the refined structure 2FJT. On the basis of that unliganded structure at 1.9 A resolution, two different approaches were tested with the goal of producing a higher-pH crystal needed for inhibitor complexation and mechanistic studies. In one approach, Asp 19, which forms the growth-limiting dicarboxyl contact in wild-type triclinic crystals, was modified to Ala and Asn in hopes of relieving the acid-dependence of that crystal form. In the other approach, wild-type residues Met 18, Glu 25, and Asp 55 were (individually) changed to lysine to reduce the protein's excess negative charge in hopes of enabling growth of new, higher-pH forms. These three sites were selected based on their high solvent exposure and lack of intraprotein interactions. The D19A and D19N mutants had reduced solubility and did not crystallize. The other three mutants all crystallized, producing several new forms at neutral pH. One of these forms, with the D55K mutant, enabled a product complex at 0.16 nm resolution, structure 3GHX. This structure shows why the new crystal form required the mutation in order to grow at neutral pH. This approach could be useful in other cases where excess negative charge inhibits the crystallization of low-pI proteins.

  15. Protein Crystal Engineering of YpAC-IV using the Strategy of Excess Charge Reduction.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, D Travis; Smith, N Natasha; Kim, Sook-Kyung; Robinson, Howard; Reddy, Prasad T

    2009-08-01

    The class IV adenylyl cyclase from Yersinia pestis has been engineered by site-specific mutagenesis to facilitate crystallization at neutral pH. The wild-type enzyme crystallized only below pH 5, consistent with the observation of a carboxyl-carboxylate H bond in a crystal contact in the refined structure 2FJT. Based on that unliganded structure at 1.9 A resolution, two different approaches were tested with the goal of producing a higher-pH crystal needed for inhibitor complexation and mechanistic studies. In one approach, Asp 19, which forms the growth-limiting dicarboxyl contact in wild-type triclinic crystals, was modified to Ala and Asn in hopes of relieving the acid-dependence of that crystal form. In the other approach, wild-type residues Met 18, Glu 25, and Asp 55 were (individually) changed to lysine to reduce the protein's excess negative charge in hopes of enabling growth of new, higher-pH forms. These 3 sites were selected based on their high solvent exposure and lack of intraprotein interactions. The D19A and D19N mutants had reduced solubility and did not crystallize. The other 3 mutants all crystallized, producing several new forms at neutral pH. One of these forms, with the D55K mutant, enabled a product complex at 1.6 A resolution, structure 3GHX. This structure shows why the new crystal form required the mutation in order to grow at neutral pH. This approach could be useful in other cases where excess negative charge inhibits the crystallization of low-pI proteins. PMID:20160955

  16. Experimental evidence for the stability of the depletion zone around a growing protein crystal under microgravity.

    PubMed

    Otálora, F; Novella, M L; Gavira, J A; Thomas, B R; García Ruiz, J M

    2001-03-01

    Experimental evidence is presented for the first time for the development and time evolution of concentration-depletion zones around protein crystals growing in microgravity and gelled on-ground experiments. Crystal motion and buoyancy-driven fluid movements as a result of residual accelerations and g-jitters are demonstrated to have an adverse effect on the stability of these depletion zones, provoking the breakdown of their radial symmetry. These findings may explain some of the controversial results reported on the quality of single crystals grown under microgravity in previous space missions. PMID:11223518

  17. Science Issues Associated with the Use of a Microfluidic Chip Designed Specifically for Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmes, Anna M.; Monaco, Lisa; Barnes, Cindy; Spearing, Scott; Jenkins, Andy; Johnson, Todd; Mayer, Derek; Cole, Helen

    2003-01-01

    The Iterative Biological Crystallization team in partnership with Caliper Technologies has produced a prototype microfluidic chip for batch crystallization that has been designed and tested. The chip is designed for the mixing and dispensing of up to five solutions with possible variation of the recipe being delivered to two growth wells. Developments that have led to the successful on-chip crystallization of a few model proteins have required investigative insight into many different areas, including fluid mixing dynamics, surface treatments, quantification and fidelity of reagent delivery. This presentation will encompass the ongoing studies and data accumulated toward these efforts.

  18. On increasing protein-crystallization throughput for X-ray diffraction studies.

    PubMed

    Shah, Ashit K; Liu, Zhi Jie; Stewart, Patrick D; Schubot, Florian D; Rose, John P; Newton, M Gary; Wang, Bi Cheng

    2005-02-01

    Two recent developments, a novel screening/optimization strategy that considerably reduces the number of trials required to produce diffraction-size crystals and a simple modification that doubles the screening capacity of the Douglas Instruments ORYX 1-6 protein-crystallization robot, have been implemented into a structural genomics project. The new two-step screening/optimization strategy yields diffraction-quality crystals directly from the screening process, reducing the need for further optimization. The ORYX modification involves the addition of extensions to the sample- and oil-delivery arms and software modifications that allow two plates to be set up simultaneously. PMID:15681862