National Center for
4WLA: Time Resolved Serial Femtosecond Crystallography Captures High Resolution Intermediates Of Pyp
Time-resolved serial crystallography captures high-resolution intermediates of photoactive yellow protein
Science (2014) 346 p.1242-1246
Serial femtosecond crystallography using ultrashort pulses from x-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) enables studies of the light-triggered dynamics of biomolecules. We used microcrystals of photoactive yellow protein (a bacterial blue light photoreceptor) as a model system and obtained high-resolution, time-resolved difference electron density maps of excellent quality with strong features; these allowed the determination of structures of reaction intermediates to a resolution of 1.6 angstroms. Our results open the way to the study of reversible and nonreversible biological reactions on time scales as short as femtoseconds under conditions that maximize the extent of reaction initiation throughout the crystal.