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Annu Rev Biophys. 2012;41:41-61. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-050511-102333. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Racemic protein crystallography.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA. yeates@mbi.ucla.edu

Abstract

Although natural proteins are chiral and are all of one "handedness," their mirror image forms can be prepared by chemical synthesis. This opens up new opportunities for protein crystallography. A racemic mixture of the enantiomeric forms of a protein molecule can crystallize in ways that natural proteins cannot. Recent experimental data support a theoretical prediction that this should make racemic protein mixtures highly amenable to crystallization. Crystals obtained from racemic mixtures also offer advantages in structure determination strategies. The relevance of these potential advantages is heightened by advances in synthetic methods, which are extending the size limit for proteins that can be prepared by chemical synthesis. Recent ideas and results in the area of racemic protein crystallography are reviewed.

PMID:
22443988
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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