Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2013 Apr 25;496(7446):477-81. doi: 10.1038/nature12070.

Accurate assessment of mass, models and resolution by small-angle scattering.

Author information

Life Sciences Division, Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Modern small-angle scattering (SAS) experiments with X-rays or neutrons provide a comprehensive, resolution-limited observation of the thermodynamic state. However, methods for evaluating mass and validating SAS-based models and resolution have been inadequate. Here we define the volume of correlation, Vc, a SAS invariant derived from the scattered intensities that is specific to the structural state of the particle, but independent of concentration and the requirements of a compact, folded particle. We show that Vc defines a ratio, QR, that determines the molecular mass of proteins or RNA ranging from 10 to 1,000 kilodaltons. Furthermore, we propose a statistically robust method for assessing model-data agreements (χ(2)free) akin to cross-validation. Our approach prevents over-fitting of the SAS data and can be used with a newly defined metric, RSAS, for quantitative evaluation of resolution. Together, these metrics (Vc, QR, χ(2)free and RSAS) provide analytical tools for unbiased and accurate macromolecular structural characterizations in solution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center