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Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2010 Apr 1;66(Pt 4):373-8. doi: 10.1107/S1744309110004112. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

Challenging semi-bootstrapping molecular-replacement strategy reveals intriguing crystal packing of rhizavidin.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, The Alexander Silverman Institute of Life Sciences, The Wolfson Centre for Applied Structural Biology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.


The structure of rhizavidin, the first dimeric member of the avidin family which maintains high affinity towards biotin, was determined to high resolution by SeMet SAD. Consequently, the structure of the rhizavidin-biotin complex was determined by molecular-replacement methods using the apo structure as the search model; this ran into complications and required combined programs as well as bootstrapping approaches. Although present as a dimer in solution, rhizavidin packs as unique oligomers in both crystal forms. The novel insights derived from the unique molecular-replacement procedure and the crystal-driven oligomeric forms in this work may have utililty in biotechological and nanotechnological applications.

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