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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2004 Apr;61(7-8):774-82.

Ultra-high-resolution X-ray structure of proteins.

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  • 1LCM3B, UMR CNRS 7036, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Henri Poincaré, Nancy 1, BP 239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.


The constant advances in synchrotron radiation sources and crystallogenesis methods and the impulse of structural genomics projects have brought biocrystallography to a context favorable to subatomic resolution protein and nucleic acid structures. Thus, as soon as such precision can be frequently obtained, the amount of information available in the precise electron density should also be easily and naturally exploited, similarly to the field of small molecule charge density studies. Indeed, the use of a nonspherical model for the atomic electron density in the refinement of subatomic resolution protein structures allows the experimental description of their electrostatic properties. Some methods we have developed and implemented in our multipolar refinement program MoPro for this purpose are presented. Examples of successful applications to several subatomic resolution protein structures, including the 0.66 angstrom resolution human aldose reductase, are described.

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