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J Synchrotron Radiat. 2011 Jan;18(1):11-5. doi: 10.1107/S0909049510028670. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

UV LED lighting for automated crystal centring.

Author information

1
Structural Biology Research Center, Photon Factory, High Energy Research Organization (KEK), 1-1 Oho, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0801, Japan. leonard.chavas@kek.jp

Abstract

A direct outcome of the exponential growth of macromolecular crystallography is the continuously increasing demand for synchrotron beam time, both from academic and industrial users. As more and more projects entail screening a profusion of sample crystals, fully automated procedures at every level of the experiments are being implemented at all synchrotron facilities. One of the major obstacles to achieving such automation lies in the sample recognition and centring in the X-ray beam. The capacity of UV light to specifically react with aromatic residues present in proteins or with DNA base pairs is at the basis of UV-assisted crystal centring. Although very efficient, a well known side effect of illuminating biological samples with strong UV sources is the damage induced on the irradiated samples. In the present study the effectiveness of a softer UV light for crystal centring by taking advantage of low-power light-emitting diode (LED) sources has been investigated. The use of UV LEDs represents a low-cost solution for crystal centring with high specificity.

PMID:
21169682
PMCID:
PMC3004245
DOI:
10.1107/S0909049510028670
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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