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Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2005 Apr 1;61(Pt 4):346-9. Epub 2005 Mar 24.

Structure of a high-resolution crystal form of human triosephosphate isomerase: improvement of crystals using the gel-tube method.

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Exploratory Research Laboratories, Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, 5-2-3 Tokodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 300-2698, Japan.


Crystals of human triosephosphate isomerase with two crystal morphologies were obtained using the normal vapour-diffusion technique with identical crystallization conditions. One had a disordered plate shape and the crystals were hollow (crystal form 1). As a result, this form was very fragile, diffracted to 2.8 A resolution and had similar crystallographic parameters to those of the structure 1hti in the Protein Data Bank. The other had a fine needle shape (crystal form 2) and was formed more abundantly than crystal form 1, but was unsuitable for structure analysis. Since the normal vapour-diffusion method could not control the crystal morphology, gel-tube methods, both on earth and under microgravity, were applied for crystallization in order to control and improve the crystal quality. Whereas crystal form 1 was only slightly improved using this method, crystal form 2 was greatly improved and diffracted to 2.2 A resolution. Crystal form 2 contained a homodimer in the asymmetric unit, which was biologically essential. Its overall structure was similar to that of 1hti except for the flexible loop, which was located at the active centre Lys13.

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