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Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2011 Jan;67(Pt 1):45-59. doi: 10.1107/S0907444910046573. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Multi-crystal anomalous diffraction for low-resolution macromolecular phasing.

Author information

1
New York Structural Biology Center, Upton, 11973, USA.

Abstract

Multiwavelength anomalous diffraction (MAD) and single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD) are the two most commonly used methods for de novo determination of macromolecular structures. Both methods rely on the accurate extraction of anomalous signals; however, because of factors such as poor intrinsic order, radiation damage, inadequate anomalous scatterers, poor diffraction quality and other noise-causing factors, the anomalous signal from a single crystal is not always good enough for structure solution. In this study, procedures for extracting more accurate anomalous signals by merging data from multiple crystals are devised and tested. SAD phasing tests were made with a relatively large (1456 ordered residues) poorly diffracting (d(min) = 3.5 Å) selenomethionyl protein (20 Se). It is quantified that the anomalous signal, success in substructure determination and accuracy of phases and electron-density maps all improve with an increase in the number of crystals used in merging. Structure solutions are possible when no single crystal can support structural analysis. It is proposed that such multi-crystal strategies may be broadly useful when only weak anomalous signals are available.

PMID:
21206061
PMCID:
PMC3016016
DOI:
10.1107/S0907444910046573
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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