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Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2000 Jul;46(5):915-35.

Anomalous X-ray diffraction with soft X-ray synchrotron radiation.

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1
Institut de Biologie Structurale Jean-Pierre Ebel, CEA/CNRS, Grenoble, France.

Abstract

Anomalous diffraction with soft X-ray synchrotron radiation opens new possibilities in protein crystallography and materials science. Low-Z elements like silicon, phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine become accessible as new labels in structural studies. Some of the heavy elements like uranium exhibit an unusually strong dispersion at their M(V) absorption edge (lambdaMV = 3.497 A, E(MV) = 3545 eV) and so does thorium. Two different test experiments are reported here showing the feasibility of anomalous X-ray diffraction at long wavelengths with a protein containing uranium and with a salt containing chlorine atoms. With 110 electrons the anomalous scattering amplitude of uranium exceeds by a factor of 4 the resonance scattering of other strong anomalous scatterers like that of the lanthanides at their L(III) edge. The resulting exceptional phasing power of uranium is most attractive in protein crystallography using the multi-wavelength anomalous diffraction (MAD) method. The anomalous dispersion of an uranium derivative of asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase (hexagonal unit cell; a = 123.4 A, c = 124.4 A) has been measured for the first time at 4 wavelengths near the M(V) edge using the beamline ID1 of ESRF (Grenoble, France). The present set up allowed to measure only 30% of the possible reflections at a resolution of 4 A, mainly because of the low sensitivity of the CCD detector. In the second experiment, the dispersion of the intensity of 5 X-ray diffraction peaks from pentakismethylammonium undecachlorodibismuthate (PMACB, orthorhombic unit cell; a = 13.003 A, b = 14.038 A, c = 15.450 A) has been measured at 30 wavelengths near the K absorption edge of chlorine (lambdaK = 4.397 A, EK= 2819.6 eV). All reflections within the resolution range from 6.4 A to 3.4 A expected in the 20 degree scan were observed. The chemical state varies between different chlorine atoms of PMACB, and so does the dispersion of different Bragg peaks near the K-edge of chlorine. The results reflect the performance of the beamline ID1 of ESRF at wavelengths beyond 3 A at the end of 1998. A gain by a factor 100 for diffraction experiments with 4.4 A photons was achieved in Autumn 1999 when two focusing mirrors had been added to the X-ray optics. Further progress is expected from area detectors more sensitive to soft X-rays. Both CCD detectors and image plates would provide a gain of two orders of measured intensity. Image plates would have the additional advantage that they can be bent cylindrically and thus cover a larger solid angle in reciprocal space. In many cases, samples need to be cooled: closed and open systems are presented. A comparison with the state of art of soft X-ray diffraction, as it had been reached at HASYLAB (Hamburg, Germany), and as it is developing at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (USA), is given.

PMID:
10976874
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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