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Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 1993 Sep 1;49(Pt 5):440-8.

PRISM: application to the solution of two protein structures.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0448, USA.


The previous paper described a phase-refinement strategy for protein crystallography which exploited the information that proteins consist of connected linear chains of atoms. Here the method is applied to a molecular-replacement problem, the structure of the protease inhibitor ecotin bound to trypsin, and a single isomorphous replacement problem, the structure of the N-terminal domain of apolipoprotein E. The starting phases for the ecotin-trypsin complex were based on a partial model (trypsin) containing 61% of the atoms in the complex. Iterative skeletonization gave better results than either solvent flattening or twofold non-crystallographic symmetry averaging as measured by the reduction in the free R factor [BrĂ¼nger (1992). Nature (London), 355, 472-474]. Protection of the trypsin density during the course of the refinement greatly improved the performance of both skeletonizing and solvent flattening. In the case of apolipoprotein E, previous attempts using solvent flattening had failed to improve the SIR phases to the point of obtaining an interpretable map. The combination of iterative skeletonization and solvent flattening decreased the phase error with respect to the final refined structure, significantly more than solvent flattening alone. The final maps generated by the skeletonization procedure for both the ecotin-trypsin complex and apolipoprotein E were readily interpretable.


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