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J Mol Biol. 1991 Nov 5;222(1):11-5.

Characterization and preliminary attempts for derivatization of crystals of large ribosomal subunits from Haloarcula marismortui diffracting to 3 A resolution.

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Max-Planck Research Unit for Structural Molecular Biology, Hamburg, Germany.


An improved form of crystals of large (50 S) ribosomal subunits from Haloarcula marismortui, formally named Halobacterium marismortui, diffracting to 3 A resolution, has been obtained by the addition of 1 mM-Cd2+ to the crystallization medium, which contained more than 1.9 M of other salts. The improved crystals, grown from functionally active particles to an average size of 0.3 mm x 0.3 mm x 0.08 mm, are isomorphous with the previously reported ones, which diffracted to 4.5 A. They are of space group C222(1), cell dimensions a = 210 A, b = 300 A, c = 581 A, and contain one particle in the asymmetric unit. Their superior internal order is reflected not only in their high resolution, but also in their reasonable mosaicity (less than 0.3 degrees). In contrast to the previously grown crystals, the new ones are of adequate mechanical strength and survive well the shock-cooling treatment. Due to their weak diffracting power, all crystallographic studies have been performed with synchrotron radiation. At cryotemperature, these crystals showed no measurable decay for a few days of irradiation and a complete diffraction data set could be collected from a single crystal. Efforts for initial phasing by specific and quantitative derivatization with super-dense heavy-atom clusters are in progress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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